often cumbersome to map my object structures to a RDBMS if it wasn't designed for a relational database in the first place
Yes, I probably should have been more clear on this: The optimal situation is of course desinging both the DB and the OO system at the same time. If one or the other already exist, it can indeed be problematic: When adding an ORM layer to an existing database, the issue is often that not all code accessing the database is going to be replaced at once, so for example a common situation is someone deciding to implement some validation logic in the OO system, which is bypassed by all the other legacy code going directly to the DB - some will argue that the logic belongs in the DB instead, others will argue that the legacy code will get replaced anyway. On the other hand, I can imagine the situation you mention (having an existing OO API that now needs to be mapped to a DB) might be tricky as well, though I personally haven't been in this situation so I'm having trouble imagining how it might occur - perhaps if the objects were previously serialized in some other way...
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