Managing Schema Change in an Heterogeneous Environment

Claypool, KT
Claypool, K
Dissertation, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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“Nothing endures but change. ” –By Heractilus Change is inevitable even for persistent information. Effectively managing change of persistent information, which includes the specification, execution and the maintenance of any derived information, is critical and must be addressed by all database systems. Today, for every data model there exists a well-defined set of change primitives that can alter both the structure (the schema) and the data. Several proposals also exist for incrementally propagating a primitive change to any derived information (or view). However, existing support is lacking in two ways. First, change primitives as presented in literature are very limiting in terms of their capabilities allowing users to simply add or remove schema elements. More complex types of changes such the merging or splitting of schema elements are not supported in a principled manner. Second, algorithms for maintaining derived information often do not account for the potential heterogeneity between the source and the target. The goal of this dissertation is to provide solutions that address these two key issues. The first part of this dissertation addresses the challenge of expressing