VISIT REPORT LBurnard

Sperry House, Stonebridge Park, London

BCS Codasyl DBAWG

19 January 1984

Because of other commitments (Advisory) I was able to attend only the first day of this two day meeting in Sperry's palatial skyscraper just off the North Circular road The following were the chief points of interest to emerge.

DBAWG's visibility within other BCS database groups was less than perfect, largely because of its rather different style of operation (i.e the others don't produce any working papers) and personality (i.e DBAWG has a larger than average proportion of aggressive smart alecs) It was resolved to speak nicely to Geoff Baker, who churns out the BCS "Database Bulletin".ANSI X3H2 had rejected DBAWG's proposals to amend the DBCS standard (so as to include words indicating the advisability of a DSDL component) by one vote However, it now seemed that a better route to standardisation would be via the BSI subgroup on database standards chaired by Bill Olle to ISO TC97/SC5, which had previously been requested to produce work items in this very area The appropriate ISO group (WG15) had voted overwhelmingly in favour of DBAWG's detailed comments on the ANSI standards.A paper summarising current activities on the distributed database standard would be presented at BNCOD; work in this area was all but finished but plans for publication were currently held up I rashly offered to lasercomp some sample pages for them. The rest of the day was discussion of the future work of the group. Everyone agreed that detailed conments on ANSI's new relational standard had to be discussed, particularly indicating its compatability (or lack of same) with the DSDL and DDE standards. Second joint favourites were work on (a) integration of other datatypes (text, graphics etc.) into database systems (b) use of views , which are (I think) what subschemas were supposed to be but never quite are Other less favourably received proposals included design and modelling tools, fifth generation languages, application development facilities, future technology and our old friend access control After much discussion and complex vote rigging, it was agreed that the group as a whole would "go New Datatypes and Views as soon as possible". In the meantime, a few loose ends remained to be tied up, which was (I hope) accomplished on the second day of the meeting.