I’ve seen couple of presentations about SQL Server 2008. I noticed that many speakers use term “beyond relational” when they are describing the new data types that SQL Server 2008 supports, especially the spatial and filestream types. I am quite surprised with this term. So far, I did not realize the relational model is data type dependent. I would definitely like to get from the people that use this expression the list of the “relational” data types. It seems like datetime types are relational and spatial types are not relational for them. I guess we could call them “Zweistein”. Einstein actually unified space and time, and they managed to separate them againJ It also seems like the filestream type bothers them, because the values of this type are stored differently than values of other types. Well, I did not realize the relational model depends on physical storage as well.

Of course, this was a bit sarcastic. I would simply say that the people that use the “beyond relational” expression do not know exactly what they are talking about. Relational model is neither data type nor physical storage dependent. I would really appreciate if people who are talking about SQL Server would have some knowledge about relational model. Or maybe is this a fad, going beyond relational, because the relational model is “obsolete”?

Dejan Sarka