What kind of Solutions are available today?

[Ste98] discusses different solutions to manage temporal data. They identify the following four possibilities:
  1. Use a type date supplied in a non-temporal DBMS and build temporal support into applications
  2. Implement an abstract data type for time
  3. Extend a non-temporal data model to a temporal data model
  4. Generalise a non-temporal data model into a temporal data model
While the first two solutions do not involve any changes to existing database technology, the later two may only be used if the currently available database technology is adapted to the changes done to the underlying data models.

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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