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Relational database systems have been very successful in meeting the needs of today's commercial applications. However, emerging applications in disciplines such as engineering design are now generating new requirements for database functionality and performance. This paper describes a set of extensions to relational database technology, designed to meet the requirements of the new generation of applications. These extensions include a rich and extensible type subsystem that is tightly integrated into the Structured Query Language (SQL), a rules subsystem to enforce global database semantics, and a variety of performance enhancements. Many of the extensions described here have been prototyped at the IBM Database Technology Institute and in research projects at the IBM Almaden Research Center in order to demonstrate their feasibility and to validate their design. Furthermore, many of these extensions are now under consideration as part of the evolving American National Standards Institute/International Organization for Standardization (ANSI/ISO) standard for the SQL database language.
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