A Suggestion to Make Databases User-Friendly{1}

In this article, the author says that the currently used SQL is hard to learn for the inexperienced users.  The author says that with the current SQL, the user needs a good understanding of the schema and has to know how to use the syntax very well in order to create a database.  The suggestion that he makes to turn SQL user-friendly is the use of SQLSUGG. According to Ju Fan, the SQLSUGG is a method that is user-friendly. It uses keywords to assist the users when they are creating SQL queries. Once the user types in the keyword, SQLSUGG would suggest specific SQL queries that match the keyword.  The author says that this will save the users a lot of trouble since it will reduce the amount of debugging. He also talks about how there should be model templates with rankings, so that it could be suggested to the user when they type in certain keywords in the query that would match the template. The author’s example was that if the user types in the keyword to the query such as “count database author”, then it would come up with suggestions with all the syntax already provided such as SELECT, FROM, WHERE, GROUP BY.

I feel that this article is relevant to the class because the third project was about the queries. When I was working on the project, figuring out which syntax to use was very difficult for me because I was inexperienced. If there was a method such as SQLSUGG implemented to SQL, it would have been much easier. Creating models that suggest the syntax in a package according to the situation sounds like a good idea, which would help the new users by a lot and save the users a lot of time. Creating models for suggestions seems very hard though, since they would have to collect all sorts of templates and figure out which ones are used the most and they would also have to figure out which keywords are the most relevant to each template.

Ju Fan; Guoliang Li; Lizhu Zhou; , “Interactive SQL query suggestion: Making databases user-friendly,” Data Engineering (ICDE), 2011 IEEE 27th International Conference on , vol., no., pp.351-362, 11-16 April 2011
doi: 10.1109/ICDE.2011.5767843
URL: http://0-ieeexplore.ieee.org.opac.library.csupomona.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5767843&isnumber=5767827