IBM Peterlee Relational Test Vehicle (PRTV)

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PRTV (Peterlee Relational Test Vehicle) was the world's first relational database management system that could handle significant data volumes.

It was a relational query system with powerful query facilities, but very limited update facility and no simultaneous multiuser facility. PRTV was a follow-on from the very first relational implementation, IS1.

Features[edit]

PRTV included several firsts in the relational database area:

  • implemented relational optimizer [1]
  • implemented cost based relational optimizer [2]
  • handle tables of 1000 rows up to 10,000,000 rows[3]
  • user defined functions (UDFs) within an RDB (also a large suite of built-in functions such as trigonometric and statistical)[4]
  • geographic information system based on an RDB (using UDFs such as point-in-polygon).[5]

PRTV was based on a relational algebra, Information Systems Base Language (ISBL) and followed the relational model very strictly. Even features such as user defined functions were formalized within that model.[6] The PRTV team also introduced surrogates to the relational model[4] to help formalize relational update operations; and a formalisation for updating through views.[7] However neither of these was implemented within PRTV. PRTV emphatically did not implement NULL values, because this conception was introduced only in 1979.[8]

PRTV was itself never available as a product, but the Urban Management System[9] built on it was available as a limited IBM product.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hall, Patrick A.V. (May 1976). "Optimization of a single relational expression in a relational database system". IBM J. Res. Dev. 20 (3): 244–257. doi:10.1147/rd.203.0244. 
  2. ^ Todd, Stephen (1976). "The Peterlee Relational Test Vehicle - A System Overview". IBM Systems Journal 15 (4): 285–308. doi:10.1147/sj.154.0285. 
  3. ^ Storey, R.; W. Trebeljahr; N. Ourusoff; M. Bunzel (1979). "Report of the World Health Organisation Information Systems Programme and IBM UK Scientific Centre study on the design of information systems". UKSC Report 105. 
  4. ^ a b Hall, Patrick A.V.; J. Owlett; Stephen Todd (1976). "Relations and Entities". In Nijssen, G.M. IFIP Working Conference on Modelling in Data Base Management Systems 1976. North Holland. pp. 201–220. 
  5. ^ Aldred, B.K.; B.S. Smedley (May 1974). "An urban management system — general overview". Rep. No UKSC-53, IBM UK Scientific Center, Peterlee, England. 
  6. ^ Hall, Patrick A.V.; P. Hitchcock, Stephen Todd (January 1975). "An algebra of relations for machine computation". Conference record of the second ACM Symposium on the Principles of Programming Languages. Palo Alto, California: ACM. pp. 225–232. 
  7. ^ Todd, Stephen (August 1977). "Automatic Constraint Maintenance and Updating Defined Relations". In Gilchrist, Bruce. Proceedings of the IFIP Congress 1977. Toronto, Canada: North Holland. pp. 145–148. 
  8. ^ Codd, Edgar F. (December 1979). "Extending the Database Relational Model to Capture More Meaning". ACM Transactions on Database Systems 4 (4): 397–434. doi:10.1145/320107.320109. 
  9. ^ Aldred, Barry K.; B.S. Smedley (May 1974). "An urban management system — general overview". Rep. No UKSC-53, IBM UK Scientific Center, Peterlee, England.