It is well known thai the growth in demands from end users for new applications is outstripping the capability of data processing departments to implement the corresponding application programs. There are two complementary approaches to attacking this problem (and both approaches are needed): one is to put end users into direct touch with the information stored in computers; the nther is to increase the productivity of data processing professionals in the development of application programs. It is less well known that a single technology, relational database management, provides a practical foundation tbr both approaches. It is explained why this is so. While developing this productivity theme, it is noted that the time has come to draw a very sharp line between relational and non-relational database systems, so thai the label “relational” will not be used in misleading ways. The key to drawing this line is something called a “relational processing capability”. © 1982, ACM. All rights reserved.