I thought I would use some buzz words in the title to get everybody excited. I’m not referring to removing duplicate records in databases and tables. I’m referring to an overall strategy where application developers should be looking to reduce the amount of data that is stored in their databases in context of the entire Web. Through the use of web services and a some other cool new technologies we should be looking to connect to external sources to retrieve data as it is needed. Web-wide data warehouses are sparsely available right now but they are coming online. For example do you really need to store a person’s address if you can go to the address source to get their latest address every time?
Yes, there are hurdles (speed and reliability) but with every passing year these these hurdles get lower and lower. But there are also huge benefits such as access to the most up to date information. Corporations are already leveraging Web Services to communicate between their vast number of internal applications. Many coporations are going to SOA (Service Orientated Architecture) platforms across their business. Independent developers/web designers need to start thinking the same way. The maturation of the Internet relives us from having to store non-proprietary/non-mission critical data in a “local” database.