Extending a Relational Database with Deferred Referential Integrity Checking and Intelligent Joins

by Stephanie J. Cammarata, Prasadram Ramachandra, Darrell Shane


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback10 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Interactive use of relational database management systems (DBMS) requires a user to be knowledgeable about the semantics of the application represented in the database. In many cases, however, users are not trained in the application field and are not DBMS experts. Two categories of functionality are problematic for such users: (1) updating a database without violating integrity constraints imposed by the domain, and (2) using join operations to retrieve data from more than one relation. The authors have been conducting research to help an uninformed or casual user interact with a relational DBMS. This paper describes two capabilities to aid an interactive database user who is neither an application specialist nor a DBMS expert. The authors have developed deferred Referential Integrity Checking (RIC) and Intelligent Join (IJ), which extend the operations of a relational DBMS. These facilities are made possible by explicit representation of database semantics combined with a relational schema. Deferred RIC is a static validation procedure that checks uniqueness of tuples, non-null keys, uniqueness of keys, and inclusion dependencies. IJ allows a user to identify only the "target" data which is to be retrieved, without the need to additionally specify "join clauses." This paper presents the motivation for these facilities, describes the features of each, and presents examples of their use.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.