CAiSE'01 Invited Talks

Database Systems Architecture:
A Study in Factor-Driven Software System Design

Prof. Peter C. Lockemann

University of Karlsruhe and FZI, Germany

Architecture of software systems is a description of the major system components, their interconnections and their interactions. The description is on a high-level where major functions are identified but little attention is as yet given to the details of ultimate implementation. The main thesis underlying this presentation is that architectural design is a necessary and highly rewarding first step in the development of software systems and, in particular, information systems.

Information systems are large software systems consisting of a set of information resources together with suitable (resource) managers. The functional behaviour of a resource manager is usually referred to as the (resource) services, and the non-functional characteristics as the service qualities. Architectural design can then be viewed as a discipline on systems designers and users. It forces both of them to agree on the major factors that determine the services and their qualities, to identify the major conflicts between these, and to decide and document the necessary tradeoffs on a strategic level well before major implementation efforts have taken place.

The thesis, and some constructive consequences, will be illustrated for one of the major types of resource managers in information systems - database management systems.

Peter Lockemann has been a Professor of Informatics at the University of Karlsruhe since 1972 and a director of the Computer Science Research Centre at Karlsruhe (FZI) since 1985. He has held appointments at California Institute of Technology, Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, University of Florida and MIT, and is a regular visitor to the research institutions in Silicon Valley.

He has more than 30 years of experience in database research. His current interests centre around the area of distributed and collaborative data-intensive computer applications, with results applied in areas such as engineering databases, traffic databases, electronic commerce, digital libraries and environmental information systems.

From 1981 to 1997, he was a trustee of VLDB Endowment, Inc. and served as its Secretary from 1989 to 1993 and as its President from 1993 to 1997. As director of FZI, a highly successful institution for technology transfer, he devotes considerable time to issues of technology transfer to medium-sized high-technology companies. He is a member of several supervisory boards of young IT companies.