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Date's Twelve Rules for a DDBMS

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14 May 2014


Article Source

  • Title: Database Systems, A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation, and Management, Fourth Edition, Addition-Wesley, 2012.
  • Authors: Thomas M. Connoly, Carolyn E. BEGG

Date’s Twelve Rules for a DDBMS

We list Date’s twelve rules (or objectives) for DDBMSs (Date, 1987b). The basis for these rules is that a distributed DBMS should feel like a non-distributed DBMS to the user. These rules are akin to Codd’s twelve rules for relational systems.

Fundamental principle

To the user, a distributed system should look exactly like a non-distributed system.

(1) Local autonomy

The sites in a distributed system should be autonomous. In this context, autonomy means that:

  • local data is locally owned and managed;
  • local operations remain purely local;
  • all operations at a given site are controlled by that site.

(2) No reliance on a central site

There should be no one site without which the system cannot operate. This implies that there should be no central servers for services such as transaction management, deadlock detection, query optimization, and management of the global system catalog.

(3) Continuous operation

Ideally, there should never be a need for a planned system shutdown, for operations such as: n adding or removing a site from the system; n the dynamic creation and deletion of fragments at one or more sites.

(4) Location independence

Location independence is equivalent to location transparency. The user should be able to access the database from any site. Furthermore, the user should be able to access all data as if it were stored at the user’s site, no matter where it is physically stored.

(5) Fragmentation independence

The user should be able to access the data, no matter how it is fragmented.

(6) Replication independence

The user should be unaware that data has been replicated. Thus, the user should not be able to access a particular copy of a data item directly, nor should the user have to specifically update all copies of a data item.

(7) Distributed query processing

The system should be capable of processing queries that reference data at more than one site.

(8) Distributed transaction processing

The system should support the transaction as the unit of recovery. The system should ensure that both global and local transactions conform to the ACID rules for transactions, namely: atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability.

(9) Hardware independence

It should be possible to run the DDBMS on a variety of hardware platforms.

(10) Operating system independence

As a corollary to the previous rule, it should be possible to run the DDBMS on a variety of operating systems.

(11) Network independence

Again, it should be possible to run the DDBMS on a variety of disparate communication networks.

(12) Database independence

It should be possible to have a DDBMS made up of different local DBMSs, perhaps supporting different underlying data models. In other words, the system should support heterogeneity. The last four rules are ideals. As the rules are so general, and as there is a lack of stand- ards in computer and network architectures, we can expect only partial compliance from vendors in the foreseeable future.


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