Text/Relational Database Management System Project

Presented by the
TRDBMS Project

The Centre for the New Oxford English Dictionary and Text Research was an active member of the Canadian Strategic Software Consortium (CSSC), formed in 1994 to conduct pre-competitive research into methods of integrating text and relational data. Fulcrum Technologies Inc., Systèmes Grafnetix Systems Inc., InContext Corporation, Dataware Technologies Inc., Open Text Corporation, Public Sector Systems Ltd., and SoftQuad Inc. were the other members of this consortium, which disbanded in 1997.

We assisted CSSC in designing extensions to the SQL Data Definition Language (DDL), Data Manipulation Language (DML) and Call Level Interface (CLI) which will allow structured text to be integrated into the relational model. We concurrently developed a prototype distributed federated database system which allows data accessed via the Oracle (Oracle) Relational Database System, the DB2 (IBM) Relational Database System, the SearchServer (Fulcrum) Text Engine, and the Pat (Open Text) Text Engine to be integrated.

The fundamental goal of our research was that it leads to the creation of good standards for managing and manipulating text. Such standards will encourage and facilitate cooperation between software, and thus indirectly between software vendors, developers, and integrators. Without such standards textual information will continue to be incorporated into existing database technology in an ad-hoc fashion, and global access to textual information will remain either an elusive goal, or one which can be realized only with such great difficulty that few are able to effectively capitalize upon it.

Research Interests

We remain interested in both representing and managing structured text within a relational environment, and in representing relational data as structured text.

Our research interests include but are not limited to:

  • Management of structured text and grammars (including SGML and XML).
  • Integration of text and relations (including full-text extensions to SQL).
  • Federated database technology.
  • Database optimisation.
  • Update of text.