Rethinking Agility in Databases - Part VI: Structure and Information, Revisited

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Rethinking Agility in Databases 5/9/2008 6:43 PM

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By Max Guernsey, III - Managing Member, Hexagon Software LLC

Introduction

Yesterday (May 8th, 2008), I did another Data Structure Metamorphism seminar. At the end, one of the people attending commented on the distinction I draw between structure and information. His contention was that there was value in the design, itself. He actually said that there is more value in the model than the content. Even though he changed my mind a little, I still would not take it that far.

The essence of his argument was correct, though: There is value in the structure. That’s why we have a database structure: it does something for us that we want done. The structure is still not as valuable as the content – so long as the content’s existence is not dependent on its structure – but I don’t think his real contention was with my valuing information over structure. I think it was with the implied effort to demote structure to a “second-class citizen.”

It all got me thinking: “maybe it’s time to reframe that distinction.”

The Hypothesis >