Levels of abstraction in database query definition

Fani Zlatarova, Elizabethtown College


One of the most challenging steps in the database design and processing is the definition of queries. The planning and analysis of systems development are critical for the entire creation process. However, real computer-oriented aspects emerge in the design phase. Building up the optimum structure of an information system will determine the quality of its implementation. An important role is assigned to the database query definition, because answering queries is the final goal of an information system. Teaching different levels of abstractions and the respective strategies for query definition, such as: natural language descriptions, relational algebra expressions, QBE relational language expressions, SQL language expressions, query optimization tools, and miscellaneous recent query applications, would prepare our students for efficient and effective management of information systems. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2006.