I recently stumbled into this outstanding article, The Claremont Report on Database Research, which articulates the findings of a two-day conference held in May, 2008 amongst more than 20 of the database community’s most visible and influential researchers. Participants included Michael Stonebraker, Philip Bernstein, Rakesh Agrawal, Eric Brewer, Michael Carey, Roger Magoulas, and Tim O’Reilly.
The group concluded that we are at a turning point in database evolution/research, and I agree with them. They identified a number of areas for future research including:
- Revisiting (core) database engines
- Declarative programming for emerging platforms
- The interplay of structured and unstructured data
- Cloud data services
- Mobile applications
- Virtual worlds
This is not the first time such a group has met. This is just one of a series of such meetings, that started in 1988, and continued in 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2003. See page 10 of the report for some self-reflection on conclusions from prior summits. Here is a chart that shows the recurrent topics over time.