The Use of data Type Information in an Interactive Database Environment

Peter Buneman, I. Winston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Despite the enormous advances that have been made in the specification of data types and data models in the fields of programming languages, databases and artificial intelligence; there remain a number of problems in attempting to unify the various approaches to the formal description of data. The purpose of this brief paper is to examine these problems from the point (or points) of view of those people—designers, administrators, applications programmers, and end-users—whose main interest is with databases. In particular, we hope to display special concern for the tools provided for the end-user, who should be the final beneficiary of whatever advances are made. In order to pin down some of these problems, it is worthwhile to attempt a definition of certain terms used in databases: 1. A data model (or database management system if one is describing an implementation) is a set of parameterized or "generic" data types. 2. A database schema is a set of data types that result from instantiating the generic types of the data model to produce a set of data types that describe the data to be stored. 3. A database is an instantiation of those types defined by a schema.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1980 workshop on Data abstraction, databases and conceptual modeling
EditorsM. Brodie
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)0-89791-031-1
Publication statusPublished - 1980


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