Schedule - PGConf NYC 2023

Keynote: What Goes Around Comes Around... And Around...

Date: 2023-10-03
Time: 09:50–10:30
Room: The Forum
Level: Beginner
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Doesn't it feel like there is always a new crop of database management systems (DBMSs) every few years that push the idea that the relational model (RM) is outdated and SQL is dying? Proponents of vector databases have recently taken up this mantle fueled by interest in AI/ML technologies. Before that, NoSQL and MapReduce users claimed that RM/SQL was insufficient for "webscale" applications. And then, back in the 1990s, the object-oriented database world wanted everyone to switch to their non-RM, non-SQL systems. Database history does not repeat itself, but it indeed does rhyme.

In this talk, I will present the 60-year history of data modeling research and demonstrate why the RM/SQL is the preferred default choice for database applications of any size. All efforts to completely replace the data model or query language have failed. Instead, SQL absorbed the best ideas from these alternative approaches and remains relevant for modern applications.


Andy Pavlo