A Performance Study of Object Relational Databases

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Jamal Alsabbagh, alsabbaj@gvsu.edu

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About a decade ago, the database group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed BUCKY, a benchmark for investigating the maturity of object-relational database systems – a new technology at that time. The group developed a synthetic data generator, implemented an object-relational database and its equivalent relational database, and then compared the performance of a set of standard queries on both implementations. The group concluded that the simplicity of the queries and how concisely they can be expressed was one of the most useful features of the object-relational system. It pointed out, however, that the simplicity comes at a cost. For example, a number of queries ran slower on the object-relational system version, especially the ones involving sets. In addition, loading the object-relational database proved to be far more challenging than loading the relational one. In particular, the lack of support for inverse relationships made the task more complicated. In today’s world, object-oriented features have become widely available in commercial database management systems. The goal of this project is to perform comparable benchmarking to that of the BUCKY group in order to investigate the performance gap between relational and object-relational databases in a modern commercial system. Oracle ®10g is used in this study.

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