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Database Design: Object-Oriented versus Relational

Authors: S. Conrad, G. Saake, I. Schmitt, C. Türker
Paper: Conr99f (1999)
Citation: R. Kaschek (ed.): Entwicklungsmethoden für Informationssysteme und deren Anwendung (EMISA'99), GI-Fachtagung, Fischbachau, Deutschland, September 1999, Teubner Verlag, Reihe Wirtschaftsinformatik, pp. 109-125, 1999.
Resources: Copy  (In order to obtain the copy please send an email with subject  Conr99f  to


Object-oriented database design is not only a simple extension of relational database design. By modeling structure as well as behavior of real-world entities as coherent units, object-oriented database design succeeds in capturing more semantics of applications already in the design phase. The use of object-oriented concepts like inheritance promises a more adequate modeling and a better application implementation based on an object-oriented database system. However, the results of object-oriented design can also be applied to classical database systems.

In this paper we briefly compare object-oriented database design with traditional design of relational databases. It is not our intention to end up with stating that one of the two approaches is superior to the other one. Instead we want to point out in which way particularly the object-oriented approach can still learn from the more established relational approach. The further development of database design should bring together the advantages of two approaches and thus reducing the existing deficiencies.