Total Cost of Ownership

By Charles Barouch  |  Posted 2008-06-03 Print this article Print


Total Cost of Ownership

Many post-relational database environments in small and midsize businesses have a staff of one programmer. They tend to have one or two consultants who work less than 40 hours a month for them. For bigger companies, the staffing range usually caps out at one- third of the staff required for RDBMS, even when actively re-engineering.

Applications in the post-relational market are generally less expensive for equivalent functions. That, combined with smaller staff requirements to manage and update the applications once they are purchased, mean post-relational systems offer real relief for businesses with financial constraints.


Other than occasional performance tuning or manual file sizing, post-relational systems have rarely needed a database administrator. A typical system can run for more than 10 years with no one performing traditional administration. While some SQL systems are just starting to move away from DBA as a full-time job category, these systems have been DBA-less from inception.


With such technologies as encryption for data that is at rest-as opposed to being transmitted-and interfaces for .Net, Java and secure sockets, relational database vendors are continuing to keep their products up-to-date. For example, Revelation Software started offering inherent support for GUIs in 1994. OpenQM offers object programming support as part of the core product. Reality-currently owned by Northgate, previously owned by McDonnell Douglas-offers integrated Web tools.

Most of the players in this category work on Windows, Linux and Unix, so they can be integrated into whichever operating system strategy a company may follow.

Best of Both Worlds

All the major players offer extensive SQL support out of the box. This allows for use of both 1NF and NF2 data within the same database. The ability to support diverse data plays well for mashups, data warehousing and other aggregation processes.

For example, UniData and jBase offer full SQL compliance as an option.


While there are many more companies offering tools for RDBMS than for post-relational databases, all the RDBMS tools that require ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) or ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) capabilities can be used in both worlds. The tools specific to the post-relational products tend to be less expensive. With a strong variety of reporting options, XML conversion tools, 4GL programming language environments, IDEs (integrated development environments) and other core functionalities available with the traditional tools, post-relational vendors offer flexibility in supporting dynamic business models.


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