Are We Working On the Right Problems? (Panel).

Michael Stonebraker: Are We Working On the Right Problems? (Panel). SIGMOD Conference 1998: 496
  author    = {Michael Stonebraker},
  editor    = {Laura M. Haas and
               Ashutosh Tiwary},
  title     = {Are We Working On the Right Problems? (Panel)},
  booktitle = {SIGMOD 1998, Proceedings ACM SIGMOD International Conference
               on Management of Data, June 2-4, 1998, Seattle, Washington, USA},
  publisher = {ACM Press},
  year      = {1998},
  isbn      = {0-89791-995-5},
  pages     = {496},
  ee        = {, db/conf/sigmod/Stonebraker98.html},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/sigmod/98},
  bibsource = {DBLP,}


There appears to be a discrepancy between the research topics being pursued by the database research community and the key problems facing information systems decisions makers such as Chief Information Officers (CIOs). Panelists will present their view of the key problems that would benefit from a research focus in the database research community and will discuss perceived discrepancies. Based on personal experience, the most commonly discussed information systems problems facing CIOs today include:
  1. Packaged Applications
    Everybody is doing "buy", not "build". That completely insulates users from the DBMS. Hence, they don't care what DBMS gets used. All packaged applications are "agnostic", i.e. run on everybody's DBMS. Will this make our research area irrelevant?
  2. Legacy Systems
    The "smokestack" systems from 20 years ago are the Achilles' heel of everybody. They seem to drive everything. There seem to be very few good ideas of what to do in this area. So what are we doing here?
  3. Middleware
    Should it be messaging, application server, or DBMS? How can one choose between CORBA, DCOM, and RMI given the rift between Microsoft and the rest of the world on these issues? So what are we doing about this?
  4. Enterprise Data Integration
    Enterprise data integration is the top item on every CIOs wish list. So what are we doing about it?
  5. "No Knobs"
    DBMSs (especially one of the popular ones) are way too hard to install, setup, tune, and maintain. When are we going to learn something from the vendors of children's games and get real here?
  6. User Interfaces
    The DBMS research community is out to lunch here. They have contributed nearly nothing to this important area. Program committee after program committee routinely bows to this alter and then rejects the submitted papers. Are we simply abdicating this space?
  7. Software Productivity
    Hardware productivity goes up by a factor of two every two years. Software productivity has gone up less than a factor of two in the last 20 years. What can be done about this?
  8. IT Project Failure
    It is estimated that 70-80% of all IT projects fail. If civil engineers built bridges like we build software, modern society would fire them. What right do we have to call ourselves professionals? What can be done here?

Copyright © 1998 by the ACM, Inc., used by permission. Permission to make digital or hard copies is granted provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or direct commercial advantage, and that copies show this notice on the first page or initial screen of a display along with the full citation.


CDROM Version: Load the CDROM "DiSC, Volume 1 Number 1" and ... Online Version (ACM WWW Account required): Full Text in PDF Format

ACM SIGMOD Anthology

DVD Version: Load ACM SIGMOD Anthology DVD 1" and ...

Printed Edition

Laura M. Haas, Ashutosh Tiwary (Eds.): SIGMOD 1998, Proceedings ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, June 2-4, 1998, Seattle, Washington, USA. ACM Press 1998, ISBN 0-89791-995-5 CiteSeerX Google scholar BibTeX bibliographical record in XML, SIGMOD Record 27(2), June 1998

Online Edition: ACM SIGMOD

[Full Text (Postscript)]

Copyright © Sun Mar 14 23:25:49 2010 by Michael Ley (