A Prototype for Shell/Database Integration
Ben Uphoff, Marc Dreyfuss
As database technology becomes more and more commonplace,
it is becoming more feasible integrating this technology into the core
operating system. In the past, two key elements that have kept database
technology out of the realm of operating system (OS) functionality. First,
database management systems (DBMSs) have traditionally been very expensive.
Second, DBMSs are typically difficult to use for many users. Once these
problems are addressed, DBMS functionality can be integrated into the OS.
The first problem, the prohibitive cost of DBMS’s,
has been addressed by the popularity of open source development and the
Internet. As the DBMS market has matured, several powerful products such
as PostgresSQL and Oracle 8i have become available at no cost.
The second problem, the ease of use, is the focus
of this project. We have developed a prototype shell interface that attempts
to provide a consistent, straightforward interface to three DBMS products:
Sybase, PostgresSQL and Minirel. These three products all have differing
syntax and execution parameters. Our prototype hides these differences
as much as possible without sacrificing any functionality. Thus, a user
can connect to and operate on a Sybase database in the same manner as he
or she would on a PostgresSQL database. This transparent operation is the
key to the prototype.
Available as: Postscript ,
or Microsoft Word 97
Available as: tar archieve , zipped
The SchemaDefinition DTD can be found here.
Here are three example schema definitions:
lsl, maps the fields in the ls -1 command
ps, maps the fields in the
swimmers, maps fields from this
data file (results of the 1999 Madison All City swim meet)