Machiavelli is a polymorphically typed programming language in the spirit of ML, but supports an extended method of type inferencing that makes its polymorphism more general and appropriate for database applications. In particular, a function that selects a field ƒ of a records is polymorphic in the sense that it can be applied to any record which contains a field ƒ with the appropriate type. When combined with a set data type and database operations including join and projection, this provides a natural medium for relational database programming. Moreover, by implementing database objects as reference types and generating the appropriate views — sets of structures with “identity” — we can achieve a degree of static type checking for object-oriented databases.
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