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We have described the architecture of System R, including the Relational Data System and the Research Storage System. The RDS supports a flexible spectrum of binding times, ranging from precompilation of “canned transactions” to on-line execution of ad hoc queries. The advantages of this approach may be summarized as follows: 1. For repetitive transactions, all the work of parsing, name binding, and access path selection is done once at precompilation time and need not be repeated. 2. Ad hoc queries are compiled on line into small machine-language routines that execute more efficiently than an interpreter. 3. Users are given a single language, SQL, for use in ad hoc queries as well as in writing PL/I and COBOL transaction programs. 4. The SQL parser, access path selection routines, and machine language code generator are used in common between query processing and precompilation of transaction programs. 5. When an index used by a transaction program is dropped, a new access path is automatically selected for the transaction without user intervention.
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