NWDS Talk - The FORWARD declarative viz and SQL++ - Yannis Papakonstantinou





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Published on Dec 13, 2015

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Speaker: Yannis Papakonstantinou, UCSD

Title: The FORWARD declarative visualization and application framework and its SQL++ integration language

Where: University of Washington, Seattle.
Computer Science and Engineering Department.
Paul Allen Center, Database Lab, CSE 405.

When: Friday, December 11, 2015, 2:30pm - 3:20pm.

Building a visualization or (even) a basic application requires the integration of many languages and technologies. The programmer often needs SQL to integrate the database, HTML and Javascript for the browser-side interactions and yet another programming language (e.g. Java) for the server-side business logic. The data source variety of the Big Data era often accentuated the data integration pains with the advance of NoSQL (typically JSON-modeled) databases with idiomatic languages.

The FORWARD framework and its SQL++ language require only SQL, declarative querying fluency. Then one can build live visualizations and applications using simply SQL++ and markup, where the markup includes visualization units that are essentially wrappers of third-party JS components. While the framework makes easy things easy, it also makes hard things possible by allowing the pay-as-you-go introduction of JS-based visualizations, which are not already captured by the out-of-the-box markup, and/or also allowing complex application logic. The framework automatically compensates for the limitations that certain components and wrappers may have with respect to live visualizations.

We overview the SQL++ semi-structured data model, which bridges JSON and the SQL data model. The SQL++ query language is backwards compatible with SQL, while supporting native JSON. SQL++ includes configuration options that describe different options of language semantics and formally capture the variations of existing database languages/systems. We exhibit the virtues of the declarative visualization and app development approach by showing how FORWARD provides live visualizations by treating page templates as rendered SQL++ views and appropriately uses incremental view maintenance and incremental rendering techniques to deliver efficient live visualization.

Finally, we briefly comment on recent advances in the adoption of SQL++ by two NoSQL databases and next steps for FORWARD and SQL++.


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