Friday, April 20, 2012

object DB + built-in language = secDB

I have noticed at least 2 original creators (U/ML) describing secDB as a 2-piece suite [1] -- an OODB (secDB) + a built-in language (Slang).

[1] that's my own language, not theirs.

(By the way, different secDB *users* refer to it using different terms. End-developers who build business apps atop secDB mostly talk about __Slang__, perhaps because that's what they express business logic, then debug/test every day. End-developers don't modify secDB core engine at all, so they see secDB as a data store. Business users talk about __secDB__, because they don't care about Slang programming. Generally, Business users are more interested in data, and application features, not implementations.)

But let's come back to the 2-piece suite.  Initial motivation is characterized by a small number of key-keywords -- Positions, market-risk, what-if, chain-reaction, object-graph... -- keep these key concepts in focus.

I think the OODB idea came first. Loading all Positions across all desks into one virtualized memory is valuable to risk scenario analysis. Obviously a position's risk profile depends on many variables (product/account, interest rates, FX rates, index vol, credit spread, product characteristics) so all of these must be represented as objects in the same virtualized memory. A big object graph.

In each SecDB-alike system, there's a dedicated team building an in-house customized OODB. In some cases, the OODB being built is quite similar to Gemfire or Tangosol. I was skeptical but one of the original SecDB creators confirmed "that particular OODB project" is indeed part of the SecDB challenger system.

The other part -- the language -- will be another blog post. For now, I'll just mention that in each secDB-derivative system, there's a dedicated team creating a customized language to manipulate the object graph. In some cases, python is chosen, with DAG features added. In other cases,  some of the secDB core team members were hired to create a new language.

FMD is somewhat similar in purpose to Slang.

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