Constraint Enforcement Through Production Rules: Putting Active Databases at Work
IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin
Opinions expressed in contributions are those of the idividual authors rather than the official position of the TC on Data Engineering, the IEEE Computer Society, or organizations with which the author may be affiliated. Membership in the Data Engineering Technical Committee is open to individuals who demonstrate willingness to actively participate in the various acti vities of the TC. Any member of the IEEE Computer Society may join the TC. I Letter from the TC Chair It is a great pleasure to
... ee the Data Engineering Technical Bulletin resurrected after a lapse of more than a year. David Lomet, the new Chief Editor of the Bulletin, deserves much of the credit for making it happen. It is due to his foresight, his perseverance, and his organizational skifis that we are on-line again. I believe that the Data Engineering Bulletin has provided a unique service to the database community, and I am hopeful that this tradition will continue. I want to take this opportunity to apprise you of what caused an interruption in the publication of the Bulletin, and to bring you up to date on the current state of TCDE. My understanding is that the Bulletin was earlier funded by a grant from the IEEE Computer Society Technical Activity Board. Sometime last year, it was decided that all the technical committees should become self sufficient. In particular, the Bulletin needed to be financed using the revenues generated from the TCDE sponsored activities. The then TCDE Chair also resigned in June. The result was that TCDE was left with no budget and no organization. In March this year, I agreed to become the TC Chair for a year. I am pleased to inform that TCDE now has a strong Executive Committee, consisting of Nick Cercone (Vice Chair), Amit Sheth (Secretary/Treasurer), Benjamin Wah (Conferences Co-ordinator), David Lomet (Publications Co ordinator), Erich Neuhold (European Co-ordinator), Shojiro Nishio (Asian Co-ordinator), and Ron Sacks-Davis (Australian Co-ordinator). I feel having a. diverse Executive Committee will provide the much-needed continuity to TCDE. We were able to get a one-time grant of $4000 for 1992 from the Technical Activity Board for restarting the Bulletin. We also now have a budget of $8000 for 1993 for the Bulletin. However, in the long run, the Bulletin cannot depend on the vagaries of the TCDE budget. We have spent considerable time exploring the long term financial viability of the the Bulletin without compromising its quality and unique role. Given the high cost of paper publication and distribution, it is unlikely that we can afford to distribute the paper version for free. We don't have all the details in place, but we are moving towards a model where the Bulletin is published in a combination of electronic and paper forms. I want to close by applauding Won Kim for his services to the Data Engineering Bulletin. He devised the current format for the Bulletin, gave it a novel personality, and steered it for more than 10 years. Thanks, Won. Please e-mail me or any member of the Executive Committee if you have any suggestions or if you would like to volunteer your time for TCDE. Rakesh Agrawal Chair, TC on Data Engineering Re-Introducing The Data Engineering Bulletin I have long believed that the Bulletin provides a unique and valuable service. It is unique in that each issue is devoted to a different special topic. Leading researchers on the special topic provide papers describing their work and their assessments of the field in a format that would not be appropriate for conferences or journals. But the articles are highly valuable for TC members wishing to understand what is happening in a field. It is this unique role, established by Won Kim, that was the inducement for me to accept TC Chair Rakesh Agrawal's invitation to become editor-in-chief of the Bulletin. This current issue continues the Bulletin's role by containing a special issue on Active Databases. Active databases is not only an area of current research interest, but commercial vendors of database systems are providing "active" functionality to their users, e.g., via triggers and constraints. As you can see from the table of contents, the issue contains contributions from many of the top database researchers. I would like to thank Professor Sharma Chakravarthy of the University of Florida, who acted as guest editor for this issue, and Professor Ahmed Elmagarmid who, as associate editor, arranged Sharma's role and helped with the editing. I want to continue having the Bulletin provide focused issues on areas of interest to the database community. In addition to its traditional role of covering special areas of research interest, I would like to include from time to time issues on the state of industrial practice in such areas. My experience suggests that knowledge within our technical community of the functionality and the directions of commercial database offerings is spotty at best. I think this would be a real eye-opener in some fields as practice sometimes is in advance of research. The editorial board for the Bulletin is in transition. Won Kim, the Bulletin's former editor, established the Bulletin and sustained it for many years. He also started the practice of appointing associate editors for two year terms. His last appointed associate editors, Ahmed Elmagarmid, who played a role in putting together the current issue, Yannis loannidis, who is acting as issue editor for the March issue, Kyu-Young Whang, and Rakesh Agrawal, who is now the TC chair, have all served more than two years. I want to thank them all for their valued contributions to the bulletin during their terms. I will soon appoint a new editorial board. I am pleased to announce that my first appointment is Meichun Hsu, formerly a faculty member at Harvard and currently on the staff at Digital's Lab in Mt. View, California. Mei has a distinguished publication record, and brings to the editorship some of the industrial focus that I look forward to seeing in the Bulletin. I am sure that the Bulletin will be well served by her efforts. Let me close by directing your attention to the announcement on page 3. It contains a request for you to provide information so that we can continue to bring you the bulletin in a timely and cost effective way. Your continued receipt of the bulletin requires your response. I hope to hear from you soon.