The myth that ODBMSs have a steep learning curve is easily dispelled. Using an ODBMS primarily involves knowing an object programming language. For examples, see transparent persistence.
If you know Java or C++, there is very little additional syntax that you need to learn in order to use an ODBMS. There are additional database commands for opening and closing databases along with starting and committing transactions. But that is about all -- hardly a steep learning curve. If you do not know Java or C++, there is learning involved. That learning, however, involves mastering the programming language and not the ODBMS.
If you have never used an RDBMS or an ODBMS, you will need to understand basic concepts about transactions and units of work. This learning will be needed regardless of whether you are using and ODBMS or an RDBMS. See the DBMS ACID Properties.
One could argue that the learning curve is much higher for SQL-based interfaces (SQL-92, JDBC, SQLJ, SQL:1999) than for transparent persistence interfaces (ODMG 3.0 and JDO). This could be based simply on the length of the texts needed to explain each interface.
More on the general topic: ODBMS Myths
Related Fact Book and Implementation Stories
Author: Douglas K Barry
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The Savvy Manager's Guide
Douglas K Barry is also the author of a book that explains Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and Cloud Computing in an easy-to-understand, non-technical manner.
Web Services, Service-Oriented Architectures, and Cloud Computing: The Savvy Manager's Guide (Second Edition)
by Douglas K Barry with David Dick
This is a guide for the savvy manager who wants to capitalize on the wave of change that is occurring with Web Services, service-oriented architecture, and—more recently—Cloud Computing. The changes wrought by these technologies will require both a basic grasp of the technologies and an effective way to deal with how these changes will affect the people who build and use the systems in our organizations. This book covers both issues. Managers at all levels of all organizations must be aware of both the changes that we are now seeing and ways to deal with issues created by those changes.