Towards a holistic integration of spreadsheets with databases: a scalable storage engine for presentational data management

Mangesh Bendre, Vipul Venkataraman, Xinyan Zhou, Kevin Chang, Aditya Parameswaran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Spreadsheet software is the tool of choice for interactive ad-hoc data management, with adoption by billions of users. However, spreadsheets are not scalable, unlike database systems. On the other hand, database systems, while highly scalable, do not support interactivity as a first-class primitive. We are developing DataSpread, to holistically integrate spreadsheets as a front-end interface with databases as a back-end datastore, providing scalability to spreadsheets, and interactivity to databases, an integration we term presentational data management (PDM). In this paper, we make the first step towards this vision for relational databases: developing a storage engine for PDM, studying how to flexibly represent spreadsheet data within a relational database and how to support and maintain access by position. We first conduct an extensive survey of spreadsheet use to motivate our functional requirements for a storage engine for PDM. We develop a natural set of mechanisms for flexibly representing spreadsheet data and demonstrate that identifying the optimal representation is NP-Hard; however, we develop an efficient approach to identify the optimal representation from an important and intuitive subclass of representations. We extend our mechanisms with positional access mechanisms that don't suffer from cascading update issues, leading to constant time access and modification performance. We evaluate these representations on a workload of typical spreadsheets and spreadsheet operations, providing up to 50% reduction in storage, and up to 50% reduction in formula evaluation time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 34th International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages113-124
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538655207
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 24 2018
Event34th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018 - Paris, France
Duration: Apr 16 2018Apr 19 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE 34th International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018

Other

Other34th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period4/16/184/19/18

Keywords

  • DATASPREAD
  • PDM
  • Spreadsheet
  • database
  • storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Hardware and Architecture

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  • Cite this

    Bendre, M., Venkataraman, V., Zhou, X., Chang, K., & Parameswaran, A. (2018). Towards a holistic integration of spreadsheets with databases: a scalable storage engine for presentational data management. In Proceedings - IEEE 34th International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018 (pp. 113-124). [8509241] (Proceedings - IEEE 34th International Conference on Data Engineering, ICDE 2018). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICDE.2018.00020