Databases have become ubiquitous. In addition to mainframe and client-server systems, relational database systems are utilized by embedded applications, on smartphones, within web browsers – just about everywhere. The article below provides some background regarding the necessary properties of “ubiquitous” database management systems, and also provided the title of this blog.
This blog entry is copyright by Sybase, Inc., an SAP company, and first appeared on Glenn Paulley’s Sybase blog (http://iablog.sybase.com/paulley) on July 10, 2010. It is reprinted here with permission.
SQL Anywhere as a ubiquitous DBMS
In the latest (December 2009) edition of ACM SIGMOD Record that arrived on my desk on Wednesday, Kyu-Young Whang et al. survey  a selection of research prototypes and commercial DBMS products that fit the notion of a ubiquitous database. Here’s the paper’s abstract:
Advancement in mobile computing technologies has prompted strong needs for database systems that can be used in small devices such as sensors, cellular phones, PDAs, car navigators, and Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs). We term the database systems that are customizable for small computing devices as Ubiquitous Database Management Systems (UDBMSs). In this paper, we first review the requirements of the UDBMS. The requirements identified include lightweight DBMSs, selective convergence, flash-optimized storage systems, data synchronization, support of unstructured/semi-structured data, complex database operations, self-management, and security. Next, we review existing systems and research prototypes. We review the functionality of UDBMSs including the footprint size, support of standard SQL, transaction management, concurrency control, recovery, indexing, and access control. We then review the supportability of the requirements by those UDBMSs surveyed. We finally present research issues related to the UDBMS.
Based on previous surveys by Nori  and Bernard et al. , Whang et al. identify the following requirements of UDBMS – lightweight operation, selective convergence, support for new storage models (particularly flash), support for complex operations, unstructured or semi-structured data, synchronization, self-management, and security – and then assess the capabilities TinyDB, PicoDBMS, Oracle Berkeley DB, Oracle 10g Lite, IBM DB2 Everyplace, MS SQL Server for CE, and KAIST’s Odysseus DBMS prototype with respect to these requirements.