Bitemporal Data - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124080676, 9780124080553

Bitemporal Data

1st Edition

Theory and Practice

Authors: Tom Johnston
eBook ISBN: 9780124080553
Paperback ISBN: 9780124080676
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 20th August 2014
Page Count: 400
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Bitemporal data has always been important. But it was not until 2011 that the ISO released a SQL standard that supported it. Currently, among major DBMS vendors, Oracle, IBM and Teradata now provide at least some bitemporal functionality in their flagship products. But to use these products effectively, someone in your IT organization needs to know more than how to code bitemporal SQL statements. Perhaps, in your organization, that person is you.

To correctly interpret business requests for temporal data, to correctly specify requirements to your IT development staff, and to correctly design bitemporal databases and applications, someone in your enterprise needs a deep understanding of both the theory and the practice of managing bitemporal data. Someone also needs to understand what the future may bring in the way of additional temporal functionality, so their enterprise can plan for it. Perhaps, in your organization, that person is you.

This is the book that will show the do-it-yourself IT professional how to design and build bitemporal databases and how to write bitemporal transactions and queries, and will show those who will direct the use of vendor-provided bitemporal DBMSs exactly what is going on "under the covers" of that software.

Key Features

  • Explains the business value of bitemporal data in terms of the information that can be provided by bitemporal tables and not by any other form of temporal data, including history tables, version tables, snapshot tables, or slowly-changing dimensions.
  • Provides an integrated account of the mathematics, logic, ontology and semantics of relational theory and relational databases, in terms of which current relational theory and practice can be seen as unnecessarily constrained to the management of nontemporal and incompletely temporal data.
  • Explains how bitemporal tables can provide the time-variance and nonvolatility hitherto lacking in Inmon historical data warehouses.
  • Explains how bitemporal dimensions can replace slowly-changing dimensions in Kimball star schemas, and why they should do so.
  • Describes several extensions to the current theory and practice of bitemporal data, including the use of episodes, "whenever" temporal transactions and queries, and future transaction time.
  • Points out a basic error in the ISO’s bitemporal SQL standard, and warns practitioners against the use of that faulty functionality. Recommends six extensions to the ISO standard which will increase the business value of bitemporal data.
  • Points towards a tritemporal future for bitemporal data, in which an Aristotelian ontology and a speech-act semantics support the direct management of the statements inscribed in the rows of relational tables, and add the ability to track the provenance of database content to existing bitemporal databases.

This book also provides the background needed to become a business ontologist, and explains why an IT data management person, deeply familiar with corporate databases, is best suited to play that role. Perhaps, in your organization, that person is you.


Enterprise Data Architects

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Preface
    • Perspectives on the Relational Paradigm of Data
    • The Temporal SQL Standards: ISO 9075:2011 and TSQL2
    • Audience
    • A Companion Volume to Managing Time in Relational Databases
    • An Extensive Glossary
    • A Note on Style
    • Looking Forward
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Bitemporal Data: Preliminaries
    • Nontemporal, Unitemporal and Bitemporal Data
    • Semantics and its Implementations
    • Glossary List
  • Part 1: Theory
    • Part 1. Theory
    • Chapter 2. Time and Temporal Terminology
      • Time
      • Temporal Terminology
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 3. The Relational Paradigm: Mathematics
      • Tables and Columns
      • Columns and Domains
      • Cartesian Products
      • Functions and Primary Keys
      • Relations
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 4. The Relational Paradigm: Logic
      • Propositional Logic
      • Predicate Logic
      • Logic and the Relational Paradigm
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 5. The Relational Paradigm: Ontology
      • Types and Instances
      • Instances and Identity
      • The Relational Paradigm Ontology: Aristotelian Roots
      • The Relational Paradigm Ontology
      • On Using Ontologies
      • Integrating the Mathematics and Ontology of the Relational Paradigm
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 6. The Relational Paradigm: Semantics
      • Rows, Statements, Assertions and Kindred Notions
      • Rows, Inscriptions and Sentences
      • Statements
      • Speech Acts
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 7. The Allen Relationships
      • Why the Allen Relationships are Important
      • A Taxonomy of the Allen Relationships
      • A Binary Partitioning of the Allen Relationships Taxonomy
      • An Allen Relationship Thought Experiment
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 8. Temporal Integrity Concepts and Notations
      • Cubes, Slices and Cells: Data in Three-Dimensional Temporal Space
      • Semantically Anomalous Relational Tables
      • Implicit Bitemporal Time
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 9. Temporal Entity Integrity
      • Entity Integrity
      • Bitemporal Entity Integrity
      • State-Time Entity Integrity
      • Conventional Entity Integrity
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 10. Temporal Referential Integrity
      • Temporal Foreign Keys
      • Episodes
      • State-Time Referential Integrity
      • Bitemporal Referential Integrity
      • Conventional Referential Integrity
      • Glossary List
  • Part 2: Practice
    • Part 2. Practice
    • Chapter 11. Temporal Transactions
      • An Overview of Temporal Transactions
      • Basic Temporal Transactions on State-Time Tables
      • Basic Temporal Transactions on Bitemporal Tables
      • Whenever Temporal Transactions
      • Temporal Merge Transactions
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 12. Basic Temporal Queries
      • Temporal Query Syntax
      • Bitemporal Tables and Views
      • Point-In-Time Range Queries
      • Range Queries
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 13. Advanced Temporal Queries
      • A Basic Temporal Range Multi-Table Query
      • A Complex Temporal Range Multi-Table Query
      • Why Temporal Range Multi-Table Queries are Complex
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 14. Future Assertion Time
      • Future Assertion Time: Semantics
      • Future Assertion Time: Implementation
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 15. Temporal Requirements
      • Updates and Corrections to Conventional Tables
      • Timestamped Tables
      • Double-Timestamped Tables
      • Double-Timestamps and Corrections
      • The Double-Timestamped Dilemma
      • The Bitemporal Data Solution
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 16. Bitemporal Data and the Inmon Data Warehouse
      • A Brief History of the Data Warehouse
      • What is an Inmon Data Warehouse?
      • Why Unitemporal Tables Cannot Be Both Time-Variant and Nonvolatile
      • The Enterprise Data Warehouse Redefined
      • The Semantics of the EDW and the Question of its Physical Instantiation
      • Glossary List
      • Inmon Terms
    • Chapter 17. Semantic Integration via Messaging
      • The Objectives of an Enterprise Database
      • Two Paths to Semantic Integration
      • The Enterprise Data Model as a Canonical Message Model
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 18. Bitemporal Data and the Kimball Data Warehouse
      • Star Schemas and Relational Databases
      • The Star Schema Data Warehouse Architecture
      • The Star Schema Design Pattern
      • Reconceptualizing Star Schemas: Fact Tables and Dimension Tables
      • A Bitemporal Star Schema
      • Bitemporal Dimensions Versus Slowly-Changing Dimensions
      • Glossary List
      • Kimball and Ross Terms
    • Chapter 19. Time, Types and the Future of Relational Databases
      • Tritemporal Data and Statement Provenance
      • Ontologizing Relational Databases
      • Atomic Statements and Binary Tables
      • Looking Ahead
      • Glossary List
    • Chapter 20. Recommendations
      • Recommendations for IT Professionals in End-User IT Organizations
      • Recommendations for Standards Committees and Vendors
      • Glossary List
  • Afterword: Reflections on Mindfulness and Bitemporality
  • Bibliography
    • Philosophical Concepts
    • The Computer Science Literature
  • Index


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2014
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Tom Johnston

Dr. Tom Johnston is the Chief Scientist at Asserted Versioning, LLC, which has developed a middleware product which supports the standard theory of bitemporal data, and which also implements the Asserted Versioning extensions to that standard theory. He is the co-author of Managing Time in Relational Databases (Morgan-Kaufmann, 2010). He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief Scientist, Asserted Versioning, LLC, Atlanta, GA


"...the book describes in a nice and engaging manner an important business problem, the (often serious) shortcomings of existing IT solutions, and ways to solve the problem properly."--Computing Reviews, Bitemporal Data

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