[R] Serverless databases in R

kMan kchamberln at gmail.com
Mon Apr 19 11:19:25 CEST 2010

Interesting info, Barry. Thank you.

Sorry about the vagueness. I was concerned about restricting responses by
imposing SQL terminology on options I've overlooked. I got .RData and
workspace images mixed up. I do not know about the private sector's
willingness to read open-source, I was guessing (and hoping to be corrected
otherwise) that they might offer importing from common dbm/rdbms. 

So RSQlite, and RH2 provide functionality for serverless dbs, and Gabor's
sqldf sounds like a sweet way to interact with those. The "NoSQL"
(non-relational dbm) projects sound interesting & permit for queries. A case
can be made for .RData files to be NoSQL and queryless serverless databases.
Perhaps I could use sqldf to pull off queries on .RData files? I thought
ODBC was windows specific? Should XML be in the "NoSQL" project list, or is
it considered too far along?


-----Original Message-----
From: b.rowlingson at googlemail.com [mailto:b.rowlingson at googlemail.com] On
Behalf Of Barry Rowlingson
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2010 12:33 AM
To: kMan
Cc: r-help at r-project.org
Subject: Re: [R] Serverless databases in R

On Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 11:30 PM, kMan <kchamberln at gmail.com> wrote:
> It was my understanding that .Rdata files were not very portable, and 
> do not natively handle queries. Otherwise we'd all just use .RData 
> files instead of farming the work out to SQL drivers & external 
> libraries, and colleagues who use, e.g. SAS or SPSS would also have no
trouble with them.

 The "platform" in "cross-platform" to me generally means the operating
system on which a program is running - and .Rdata files are perfectly
portable between R on Linux, MacOSX, Windows, Solaris etc versions. You
didn't mention portability to other statistical packages. You also didn't
mention needing SQL, or what you wanted to do with your databases. I figured
I'd just mention .Rdata files for completeness!

 There's also RJDBC and RODBC which can interface to anything with a JDBC or
ODBC interface on your system.

 A .RData file could be considered as a serverless NoSQL database.
There's a GSOC proposal to investigate interfaces to NoSQL databases and
some info here:


 Isn't it odd that the open-source R community has developed functions for
reading in proprietary SAS and SPSS format files, but (AFAIK) the commercial
sector doesn't seem to support reading data from open-sourced and
open-specced R .Rdata files?


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