Posted by: ahmedashfaque | February 10, 2015

Object relational databases – what are they?

Relational databases have been around for last 50 years. They are the backbone on which all applications including websites run. They can hold enormous data and still work fine. They have been time tested and proven. This is why everybody rely on them.

Now what are object relational databases? Well they the new breed which extend the relational databases. Off course the relational part still exists. They way data is written and manipulated and stored is the same old technology of all relational databases. Then what is the new addition?

It is from the programming side. It has been a long cherished dream of software developers to create structure in their software program which will be the same as that residing on the database. Suppose you have a database with 2 tables sales and customer. In sales table you have columns sales ID, sales date, amount, customer ID. In customer table you have customer ID, and other customer information.

When you write source code to insert, delete or update or view data in the database table then you create objects in object oriented programming. Each object can have its own structure. Suppose you have created a class sales. This class has fields as sales ID, sates date, amount, customer ID. Similarly you have created a class customer with fields similar to what you have in table customer.

Now when you create objects from these classes then they will have same structure as database tables. You can now write data processing logic using these objects. It will be much easier for you to write your code because your objects have the same structure as database structure. This is the idea.

In object relational databases, programming side is linked to database. When you create your database design then you can use this design to create your classes automatically. Or you can create your classes and then from there you can create your database automatically. This means you do not have to create 2 designs: one for database and another for programming. this is the whole idea.

Microsoft, Oracle and other vendors are working on this technology. Currently this technology is immature but will mature in next few years for sure.


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