Ronald G. Ross

Principal & Co-Founder at Business Rule Solutions, LLC

As editor of the Data Base Newsletter from 1977 to 1998, data centricity was always our core belief. Nothing has changed. In the early days, it was challenged by structured analysis. Over the years it has been challenged by one process-centric methodology after another. But they always just dig the hole deeper for enterprises.

Our industry isn’t much interested in history, but here are some noteworthy facts. The idea of data centricity (then called data independence) goes back to the 1960s and probably the first true database management system (DBMS) called Integrated Data Store (IDS). IDS was designed by Charles Bachman, who received the Turing Award from the ACM in 1973. (He was a fine gentleman to boot.) Yes, network (CODASYL) databases were supplanted by relational in starting in the later 1980s (as machines became more powerful), but the idea of independent, shared (“integrated”) data stores as fundamental architecture had been proven in practice.

I have always held steadfast in this belief and will continue to do so. Today I believe “integrated” stores should apply not just to data, but to business rules and knowledge (semantics) as well. I applaud this Manifesto’s call to return to basics!