On the Formal Specification and Derivation of Relational Database Applications

Barros, Roberto Souto Maior de (1994) On the Formal Specification and Derivation of Relational Database Applications. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The development of database applications is usually carried out informally. The derivation of database programs directly from formal specifications is a well known and unsolved problem. Most of the previous work in the area either tried to solve the problem too generally or was restricted to some trivial aspects, for example deriving the database structure and/or simple operations. This thesis describes an extension to the traditional database design process aimed at formalizing the development of (relational) database applications. Specifically, it gives a complete description of a general method for the specification of relational database applications using Z, as well as a comprehensive description of a set of rules on how to derive database programs from specifications which result from using the method. The method prescribes how to specify all the important aspects of relational database applications, which includes the definition of relations, the specification of constraints, and querying and updating of relations, including error handling. It also addresses more advanced features such as transactions, sorting of results, aggregate functions, etc. However difficult in general, deriving relational database applications directly from Z specifications written according to the method is not arduous. With appropriate tool support, writing formal specifications according to the method and deriving the corresponding relational database programs can be straightforward. Moreover, it should produce code which is standardized and thus easier to understand and maintain. An intrinsic part of the thesis is a prototype which was built to support the method. It provides a syntactic editor for the method and partially implements the mapping for a specific Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), namely the DBPL system.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Ray Welland
Keywords: Computer science
Date of Award: 1994
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1994-74968
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 14:56
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 14:56
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74968

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