Posts tagged Database Systems
Identity by Any Other Name

Communications of the ACM, April 2019
By Pat Helland

“The fascinating thing about identifiers is that while they identify the same "thing" over time, that referenced thing may slide around in its meaning. Product descriptions, reviews, and inventory balance all change, while the product ID does not. Reservations, orders, and bookings all have identifiers that do not change, while the stuff they identify may subtly change over time. Identity and identifiers provide the immutable linkage. Both sides of this linkage may change, but they provide a semantic consistency needed by the business operation. No matter what you call it, identity is the glue that makes things stick and lubricates cooperative work. … The judicious use of ambiguity and interchangeability lubricates distributed, long-running, scalable, and heterogeneous systems.”

Read More