Strategy for Database Application Evolution: the DB-MAIN Approach

Hick, JM; Hainaut, JL
Hick, J
Hainaut, J
Proc. ER 2003
Citations range: 
10 - 49
Hick2003StrategyforDatabase.pdf148.81 KB

While recent data management technologies, e.g., object-oriented,
address the problem of databases schema evolution, standard information systems
currently in use raise challenging problems when evolution is concerned.
This paper studies database evolution from the developer point of view. It shows
how requirements changes are propagated to the database schemas, to the data
and to the programs through a general strategy. This strategy requires the documentation
of the database design. When absent, this documentation has to be rebuilt
through reverse engineering techniques. The approach relies on a generic
database model and on the transformational paradigm that states that database engineering
processes can be modelled by schema transformations. Indeed, a transformation
provides both structural and instance mappings that formally define
how to modify database structures and contents. The paper then analyses the problem
of program modification and describes a CASE tool that can assist developers
in their task of system evolution.