One of the insanely cool things about working at IBM is the ability to connect with some insanely bright people. The past few days, I've had an exchange with Bruce Lindsay
, another IBM Fellow and a major contributor to the evolution of RDBM technology, standards, and products. We were responding to a customer who had wondered about the future of databases. I am distinctly not an expert in this space, so I asked Bruce who replied (and I'm paraphrasing him here) thusly:Database management systems will have to support ACID SOA calls. Applications will exploit multiple data repositories. Careful attention to authentication and security will be needed. Distributed two-phase commit will be avoided by recoverable messaging to applications (via services) that consult and modify the database and send a recoverable reply. Database size will become a non-issue. We'll see lots of low-latency asynchronous replication of reference data among databases serving various applications and their associated service interfaces. It's unclear how documents will integrate with database management systems: there may be a content manager inbetween. Finally, XML will probably not replace all other document formats. Files will not disappear from application implementations.