Rockwell Space Division
The monochrome screen flickered as the data flowed. Men gathered around the monitor as if it was a shrine. The tension was real. Without fanfare a message appeared on the screen that said “IMS READY”. The first computer based DBMS was operational.
One billion people held there breathe.
The landing strut touched the powdery surface and kicked up a small cloud of the alien substance. 216 parts on each of the four “feet” groaned under the sudden stress.
The Eagle had landed.
Only a handful of the watching billion was thinking of the DBMS that brought it all together. And only one man thought there was a better way.
West Coast: USA
“Don’t stir the pot!”
“I’m not! I am just publishing a data model for data banks that I believe will solve a lot of problems and firmly place data management on sound mathematical ground.”
“They won’t see it like that. We spent, what, 2 million on IMS? They aren’t going to just throw it away.”
“I am not asking them to. Just get them to publish it.”
“OK, I’ll try.”
Level 2, Room 123. Management Division
“’Derivability, Redundancy, and Consistency of Relations Stored in Large Data Banks.’ What the hell is this?”
“I am not sure. Dr Codd from Theoretical R&D asked for permission for public release.”
“Hmmm… look, just in case this is important, internal release only for 12 months OK.”
“What is a Relation anyway?”
“Your brothers and sisters?”
12 months later: Level 2, Room 123. Management Division
“’A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks.’ This sounds familiar.”
“Dr Codd has revised his earlier paper for public release.”
“What do the others say?”
“There hasn’t been much interest”
“No copyright or patent potential I assume?”
“I don’t think so”
“Did you find out what a Relation is?”
“Oh well, never mind.”
| posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 2:18 PM