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Object oriented DBMS

Object oriented database management systems (often referred to as object databases) were developed in the 1980s motivated by the common use of object-oriented programming languages. The goal was to be able to simply store the objects in a database in a way that corresponds to their representation in a programming language, without the need of conversion or decomposition. Additionally, the relationships between the objects, e.g. inheritance should also be maintained in the database.

An object oriented DBMS thus follows an object oriented data model with classes (the schema of objects), properties and methods. An object is always managed as a whole. This means for example, that the insertion of an object, which in a relational system would probably be stored in multiple tables, will be performed automatically as one atomic transaction - without any action by the application program . Reading an object can also be done as a single operation and without complex joins.

Object databases often use their own SQL-like query languages for manipulation of objects.

In recent years, the classic relational database management systems have been extended with some object oriented features, such as user-defined data types and structured attributes. Some of these extensions were even standardized within SQL.

This fact and the comfortable features, tools and architectures that are now provided for the storage of objects into relational databases (such as Hibernate or JPA), hinder the widespread use of object oriented systems.

Most popular examples

Find more systems in our object oriented DBMS ranking.

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