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The last 25 years of commercial DBMS development can be summed up in a single phrase: "one size fits all". This phrase refers to the fact that the traditional DBMS architecture (originally designed and optimized for business data processing) has been used to support many data-centric applications with widely varying characteristics and requirements. In this paper, we argue that this concept is no longer applicable to the database market, and that the commercial world will fracture into a collection of independent database engines, some of which may be unified by a common front-end parser. We use examples from the stream-processing market and the data-warehouse market to bolster our claims. We also briefly discuss other markets for which the traditional architecture is a poor fit and argue for a critical rethinking of the current factoring of systems services into products.
Date of Conference: 5-8 April 2005