Strategy for Database Application Evolution: The DB-MAIN Approach
- Cite this paper as:
- Hick JM., Hainaut JL. (2003) Strategy for Database Application Evolution: The DB-MAIN Approach. In: Song IY., Liddle S.W., Ling TW., Scheuermann P. (eds) Conceptual Modeling - ER 2003. ER 2003. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 2813. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
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.
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