In the beginning was the priest. Writing materials were produced in limited quantities. Education was monopolized. Scription was a laborious task and difficult to correct with the materials used. Text made filing easy. Thus you had the Flat database model.
Then came the scribe. Writing materials increased in availability. Education became institutionalized. Scription and transcription were performed by trained personnel who recorded the dictate of untrained personnel in an academic tongue. Libraries made indexing easy. Entire scriptoriums were dedicated to the process of document production. Thus you had the Hierarchical database model.
Then came the writer. Writing materials were mass produced. Education became publicized. Individuals wrote their own documents in their own tongue. The printing press guaranteed mass distribution. Formatted printing made tabulation easy. Thus you had the Relational database model.
Then came the layperson. Publishing became universally available via the internet. Education became personalized. Networks made linking easy. Thus you had the Associative Model of Data conceived by Simon Williams.
Simon has developed an Associational Database Management System (ADBMS) called Sentences. It foregoes the use of tables and inferred relationships for the use of single attribute entities and explicit relationships. The schema is intrinsic to the database making the business rules immediately available to anyone who accesses it. Finally, it is internet ready with the capability to be distributed across servers. It is a simple, elegant concept well executed, however there are still some hurdles.
The main hurdle is acceptance. Simon has met strong resistance from relational model advocates. He currently has a website offering the Sentences Enterprise Edition for free to anyone who wants it without technical support, but I do not think that is the answer. I believe that the potential of the Associative Model of Data is not fully realized in the Sentences proprietary implementation. If Sentences is to become the industry standard database for the internet, Simon Williams will have to open up Sentences to global collaboration as an open source project. Only then will the Associative Model reach the tipping point that puts it ahead of the relational model as the database architecture of choice for the lay internet user.
Simon needs Java Programmers for development and support and Mathematicians to develop Associational Calculus.
Lazysoft – Home site of Sentences
I highly recommend going to lazysoft.com and downloading the Sentences Personal and Enterprise Edition to get a feel for this new architecture. Downloading and intalling the latest Java runtime environment and Sentences can be done in roughly ten minutes. A populated sample database is ready for exploration.