Explicit and Implicit LIST Aggregate Function for Relational Databases

W. Litwin (France)


Relational data, aggregate function, SQL, OLAP


We argue for a new aggregate function we termed the LIST function. It aggregates a set of values of one or more attributes into a single value that is internally a list of these values, perhaps ordered. The principle overcomes important limitations of the current relational systems, due to the use of relations in first normal form, and the separation between the aggregate and the individual data values in the standard SQL. LIST function can be made often implicit, making its use even less procedural. The function should be simple to implement. The relational systems already provide most of the capabilities it requires to the existing aggregate functions.

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