Micro was one of the earliest set theoretic/relational database management systems. Its major underpinnings and algorithms were based on the set-theoretic model of David Childs of the University of Michigan's CONCOMP (Conversational Use of Computers) Project. It was also influenced to a lesser extent by the relational model made famous by Edgar F. Codd, a research scientist at IBM. It used a natural language interface which allowed non-programmers to use the system.
Micro permitted users with little programming experience to define, enter, interrogate, manipulate and update collections of data in a relatively unstructured and unconstrained environment. An interactive system, Micro was powerful in terms of the complexity of requests which could be made by users without prior programming language experience. Micro includes basic statistical computations such as mean, variance, frequency, median, etc. If more rigorous statistical analysis were desired, the data from a Micro database could be used with Michigan Interactive Data Analysis System (MIDAS), a statistical analysis package available under the Michigan Terminal System (MTS).
Implementation of Micro began in 1970 at the University of Michigan's Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations (ILIR) and ran under the Michigan Terminal System, the time-sharing system developed at U-M. It was first used for the study and analysis of micro-statistics contained in the United States Census data base; hence the name of the system.
The underlying data model and retrieval algorithms were deeply influenced by David Childs' Set Theoretic Data Model. Although the underlying model was based on set theory, the user interface utilized a query language subsequently used in relational database management systems. It became the first-large scale set theoretic/relational database management system to be used in production. Organizations such as the US Department of Labor, the US Environmental Protection Agency and researchers from University of Alberta, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Durham University used it to manage very large scale databases. Micro continued to run in production until 1998.
- ^ "A set theoretic data structure and retrieval language", William R. Hershey and Carol H. Easthope, Papers from the Session on Data Structures, Spring Joint Computer Conference, May 1972 in ACM SIGIR Forum, Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 1972), pp. 45-55, DOI=10.1145/1095495.1095500, Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA
- ^ "Sets, Data Models and Data Independence", by Ken North a Dr. Dobb's Blogger, March 10, 2010
- ^ Description of a set-theoretic data structure, David L. Childs, 1968, Technical Report 3 of the CONCOMP (Research in Conversational Use of Computers) Project, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
- ^ Feasibility of a Set-Theoretic Data Structure : A General Structure Based on a Reconstituted Definition of Relation, David L. Childs, 1968, Technical Report 6 of the CONCOMP (Research in Conversational Use of Computers) Project, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
- ^ "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks", E.F. Codd, Communications of the ACM, volume 13, issue 6 (June 1970), pp. 77–387, doi= 10.1145/362384.362685
- ^ MICRO: Information Management System (Version 5.0) Reference Manual, M.A. Kahn, D.L. Rumelhart, and B.L. Bronson, October 1977, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations (ILIR), University of Michigan
- ^ "Use of a Relational Database to Support Clinical Research: Application in a Diabetes Program", Diane Lomatch, M.P.H., Terry Truax, M.S., Peter Savage, M.D., Diabetes Center Unit, MDRTC, University of Michigan, 1981
- ^ "Converting from Traditional File Structures to Database Management Systems: A Powerful Tool for Nursing Management", Yvonne Marie Abdoo, Ph.D., R.N, Wayne State University College of Nursing, 1987
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