Starburst Mid-Flight: As the Dust Clears

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The Starburst project, at IBM's Almaden Research Center, is improving the design of relational database management systems and enhancing their performance, while building an extensible system to better support nontraditional applications (such as engineering, geographic, office, etc.), and to serve as a testbed for future improvements in database technology. As of November 1989, we have an initial prototype of our system up and running. In this paper, we reflect on the design and implementation of the Starburst system to date. We examine some key design decisions, and how they affect the goal of improved structure and performance. We also examine how well we have met our goal of extensibility: what aspects of the system are extensible, how extensions can be done, and how easy it is to add extensions. We discuss some actual extensions to the system, including the experiences of our first real customizers. © 1990 IEEE