"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Coordination via Databases

Jay Han responds to my item on using databases for coordination...

We know that databases provide concurrency control and transaction management. These features let applications share data -- you can call this coordination at low level. But what about coordination at high level? How can they exchange semantics of data? e.g. "9999-12-31 in date field means now? never? forever in the future?" or "20 point means 20 basis point." (Schemas and constraints can check syntax of data but not the "validity" of data.) Because I don't see how databases provide meaningful (hence ad-hoc) coordination, I don't quite understand Patrick's last sentence above especially the second half.

Databases have no advantage nor disadvantage in this respect (the "meaning" of data) to any other coordination mechanism.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.