database management systems, cont. (74)

Fri, 10 Feb 89 22:43:53 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 587. Friday, 10 Feb 1989.

(1) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 06:13:00 EST (46 lines)
Subject: database management systems

(2) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 13:10:44 PST (8 lines)
From: Walter Piovesan <USERVINO@SFU.BITNET>
Subject: database management systems.

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 06:13:00 EST
Subject: Re: database management systems, cont. (55)

DBMS Usage.

At Edinburgh University Data Library we use a number of different software
packages as filing cabinets for data, not all of them 'qualify' for
the dbms label.

Survey data are mostly held in SIR and SPSSX system files. The
Postcode Directory for Scotland (a directory linking postal (zip) codes
to Ordanance Survey (geocode) references and a number of census and admin
area codes) is held in Oracle. Population Census small area statistics
are held in SASPAC, the UK equivalent of CENSPAC. The University has recently
acquired BASIS and this is being used in a project for retrieving information
on research activity and publications, and we intend that it should be used
for catalogue information on research datafiles (using the conventions
agreed in 'Cataloguing Computer Files in the UK: A Practical Guide to

We are using Inmagic on a PS/2. I have an Atari ST on which I run Superbase

Quite a mix really and we are aware that this can be a problem, but
different systems have particular strengths the relevance of which

We also have a number of datasets which sit as character files and are
accessed by a variety of programs/packages.
This is largely because, at the time we had to make decisions,
a suitable dbms was not available in the computing environment
(ie the operating system/hardware combination) on which we wanted to offer the

For example, we have had an interest in descriptive fields for
research data (numeric, map outlines, text, etc) for some while
and wanted a software vehicle for a mainframe that could be accessed
by our (prospective) users across the network and provide admin
data for our own use. We looked at several including Famulus and
Oracle, and are pleased to have Basis - although Oracle Text/SQL
looks interesting.


Peter Burnhill
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------14----
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 13:10:44 PST
From: Walter Piovesan <USERVINO@SFU.BITNET>
Subject: database management systems.

In response to Lou's query regarding DBMS. At SFU I use SPIRES and ORACLE
on a mainframe platform, and Reflex and Hypercard on the mac platform.