Object-Orientation FAQ

IRIS (HP Labs)

[Iris is a system out of HP Labs that began as a prototype and eventually
became a commercial product.  I believe it was eventually incorporated into
the new HP product, OpenODB. - clamen]
Long and short system summaries can be found in:
[FISH89] D.H. Fishman et. al. Overview of the Iris DBMS. In Won.
         Kim and Frederick H. Lochovsky, editors,
         Object-Oriented Concepts, Databases and Applications,
         chapter 10, pages 219--250. Addison-Wesley, Reading,
         MA, 1989.
[FBC+87] D.H. Fishman, D. Beech, H.P. Cate, E.C. Chow,
         T. Connors, J.W. Davis, N. Derrett, C.G. Hock, W. Kent,
         P. Lyngbaek, B. Mahbod, M.A. Neimat, T.A. Tyan, and
         M.C. Shan. Iris:  An object-oriented database
         management system. ACM Transactions on Office
         Information Systems, 5(1):48--69, January 1987.
The abstract of the latter (written early in the project) follows:
   The Iris database management system is a research prototype of
   a next-generation database management system intended  to meet
   the needs of new and emerging database applications, including
   office    automation and knowledge-based systems,  engineering
   test and measurement, and hardware  and software design.  Iris
   is exploring a rich set of  new database capabilities required
   by    these   applications,   including  rich    data-modeling
   constructs, direct  database support for inference,  novel and
   extensible data types, for example to  support graphic images,
   voice,    text,   vectors,  and  matrices,    support for long
   transactions   spanning  minutes  to  many  days, and multiple
   versions of data.  These capabilities are, in addition  to the
   usual support for  permanence   of data, controlled   sharing,
   backup and recovery.
   The   Iris   DBMS consists   of  (1) a  query   processor that
   implements  the   Iris object-oriented  data    model, (2)   a
   Relational Storage Subsystem (RSS) -like  storage manager that
   provides  access paths and  concurrency  control, backup   and
   recovery, and (3) a collection of programmatic and interactive
   interfaces.  The data   model supports  high-level  structural
   abstractions,  such  as  classification, generalization,   and
   aggregation, as  well  as behavioral    abstractions.      The
   interfaces to  Iris  include an  object-oriented extension  to
   SQL.
On Schema Evolution (from original survey):
Objects in the Iris system may acquire or lose types dynamically.
Thus, if an object no longer matches a changed definition, the user
can choose to remove the type from the object instead of modifying the
object to match the type.  In general, Iris tends to restrict class
modifications so that object modifications are not necessary.  For
example, a class cannot be removed unless it has no instances and new
supertype-subtype relationships cannot be established.

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