What kind of Solutions are available today?[Ste98] discusses different solutions to manage temporal data. They identify the following four possibilities:
- Use a type date supplied in a non-temporal DBMS and build temporal support into applications
- Implement an abstract data type for time
- Extend a non-temporal data model to a temporal data model
- Generalise a non-temporal data model into a temporal data model
Today, only the first two approaches are available. The second one is based on object-relational or object-oriented DBMS. An approach which is based on the third possibibility listed above is TimeDB. TimeDB cannot be considered as a Temporal DBMS but rather as an interpreter. It translates Temporal SQL statements into standard SQL statements which then are executed on a commercial DBMS such as Oracle, Sybase etc. The advantage of this approach is that an existing database can partly be migrated to a temporal database while all the legacy applications still run without any changes.
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