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Evolution of data management

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1 Author(s)
Gray, J. ; Microsoft Res., San Francisco, CA, USA

Computers can now store all forms of information: records, documents, images, sound recordings, videos, scientific data, and many new data formats. Society has made great strides in capturing, storing, managing, analyzing, and visualizing this data. These tasks are generically called data management. This article sketches the evolution of data management systems. There have been six distinct phases in data management. Initially, data was manually processed. The next step used punched-card equipment and electromechanical machines to sort and tabulate millions of records. The third phase stored data on magnetic tape and used stored-program computers to perform batch processing on sequential files. The fourth phase introduced the concept of a database schema and on-line navigational access to the data. The fifth step automated access to relational databases and added distributed and client server processing. We are now in the early stages of sixth-generation systems that store richer data types, notably documents, images, voice, and video data. These sixth-generation systems are the storage engines for the emerging Internet and intranets. Early data management systems automated traditional information processing. Today they allow fast, reliable, and secure access to globally distributed data. Tomorrow's systems will access and summarize richer forms of data. It is argued that multimedia databases will be a cornerstone of cyberspace

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 10 )