The object database market will continue to grow faster than the relational database sector because developers are now using the technology as the basis of many of their new applications.
Although organisations rarely replace or rewrite existing packages to run on object databases, they are increasingly finding that object applications, including those written in Java, take too much of a performance hit when running on relational technology.
Douglas Barry, principal of consultants Barry & Associates, said at the Java Business Expo in New York this week: ?We?ve not hit the relational wall yet due to Moores? Law, which has made it possible to keep up with performance demands by upgrading hardware. So, it?s been safe to stay with relational technology for existing applications cos it?s the easy approach. But it?s a different matter for new applications.?
He continued: ?Customers say we know Oracle and we?re comfortable with Oracle, so they develop to it even if there?s a huge performance hit. But when people are looking for competitive edge, they use object technology for new development and if they have a new application that needs high performance on complex data, I?d say go for an object database. They are between 100 and 1,000 times faster than relational databases and cost less in hardware terms.?
While the growth rate of the object database market has slowed over the past year as a result of the drop in development budgets due to the Year 2000 problem, Barry said that Dataquest still expects it to grow by 34 per cent to $200 million this year compared with only 16 per cent for its relational rival.
Growth has partially been driven by the advent of Java onto the marketplace, and although relational database vendors have maintained their market share and effectively absorbed the object/relational database movement, the latter will be used predominantly for new development that does not require high performance on complex data.
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