Data Management

When Do I Need an Object-Oriented Database Management System?

Teresa Wingfield

September 19, 2023

object-oriented database management system

What is an Object-Oriented Database Management System?

An object-oriented database management system (OODBMS) is based on the principles of object-oriented programming. Data is created, modeled, and stored as objects, which are self-contained units that contain both data and the operations or methods that can be performed on that data.

Should your organization’s enterprise data management include an OODBMS? Here’s a quick look at where it excels and the types of applications that can benefit from these advantages.

What is an OODBMS Used For?

An OODBMS is most valuable for applications with complex data relationships that require persistence, support for diverse data types, and frequent schema changes.

Complex Data Structures and Relationships: An OODBMS is especially useful for applications with complex data structures and relationships since this type of database accommodates a more flexible and dynamic data model than relational databases. An object can store relationships that it has with other objects, including many-to-many relationships, and objects can be formed into more complex objects than traditional data models.

Performance: An OODBMS can provide improved performance compared to relational databases, especially for applications with complex data structures.

Persistence: Object databases bring permanent persistence to object storage.

Highly Extensible: Because objects can be easily modified and extended, it can be easier to evolve the data model over time.

Capable of Handling Diverse Data Types: OODBMS can store different types of data such as pictures, audio, video, text, and more.

Schema Evolution Support: The tight coupling between data and applications in an OODBMS makes schema evolution more feasible.

What Are Some Common Applications Built on Top of Object-Oriented Databases?

Here are some examples of applications that commonly use an OODBMS as part of enterprise data management:

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM): An OODBMS helps to store and manipulate complex 3D models of buildings, machine parts, etc.

Content Management/Digital Asset Management: An OODBMS handles complex schemas and structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data types, including text, images, audio, and videos.

Financial Applications: An OODBMS can be useful for financial applications that need to store complex data structures such as portfolios of stocks and bonds.

E-commerce Applications: An OODBMS can handle complex data such as customer orders, product catalogs, and transaction histories.

Healthcare Applications: An OODBMS can provide efficient storage and retrieval of elector health records (EHRs) and medical imaging such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.

Gaming Applications: An OODBMS helps store and access data about game objects, such as characters and weapons, and game events such as player interactions and game state changes.

Why NoSQL?

While an OODBMS provides a more efficient way to store and access complex data structures, many of these databases lack enterprise features required for mission-critical business applications.

NoSQL from Actian is an OODBMS that doesn’t require making these tradeoffs. It provides performance, scalability, availability, and reliability. NoSQL features ACID and distributed transaction support, two-phase commit, and online schema evolution. Its two-level cache and multi-session/multi-threaded architecture are optimized for next-generation multi-core server architectures to deliver linear scalability to handle growth in data volume and concurrent user access.

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About Teresa Wingfield

Teresa Wingfield is Director of Product Marketing at Actian where she is responsible for communicating the unique value that the Actian Data Platform delivers, including proven data integration, data management and data analytics. She brings a 20-year track record of increasing revenue and awareness for analytics, security, and cloud solutions. Prior to Actian, Teresa managed product marketing at industry-leading companies such as Cisco, McAfee, and VMware.