Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

July 1995


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-95-25.


Database transformations arise in many different settings including database integrations, evolution of database systems, and implementing user views and data-entry tools. This paper surveys approaches that have been taken to problems in these settings, assesses their strengths and weaknesses, and develops requirements on a formal model for specifying and implementing database transformations.

We also consider the problem of insuring the correctness of database transformations. In particular, we demonstrate that the usefulness of correctness conditions such as information preservation are hindered by the interactions of transformations and database constraints, and the limited expressive power of established database constraint languages. We conclude that more general notions of correctness are required, and that there is a need for a uniform formalism for expressing both database transformations and constraints, and reasoning about their interactions.

Finally we introduce WOL, a declarative language for specifying and implementing database transformations and constraints. We briefly describe the WOL language and its semantics, and argue that it addresses many of the requirements of a formalism for dealing with general database transformations.



Date Posted: 02 July 2007