NoSQL in Odd Places

July 5, 2013

What started me thinking NoSQL will be where all the application action goes was finding NoSQL databases is unexpected places. Meaning not the usual ‘Big Data” but something like embedded systems for example.

Why would an embedded systems developer choose NoSQL over SQL for a small embedded database? On the surface you have to wonder but the answer is likely the programming model. It is a lot easier for a Java developer to work with Java objects and JSON documents than to map those objects to SQL. Most of them don’t understand SQL very well and they make a mess of it, so just pick something they understand better.

I was shocked to find an RDM system that runs on MongoDB. Surely RDM is one place that would need the robustness of a relational database but no it doesn’t. Look a bit deeper and you see why. It is a closed system, nobody will be doing adhoc queries and updates to an RDM, it is closed to just the app. While the database doesn’t provide much in the way of data consistency, the app has control and can do it. At the same time, it has to be able to deal with data is all sort of formats and variations, the schema-less database makes this easier.

I expect we’ll see more and more of this. The transaction control and object integrity moves out of the datastore and into the app framework. It is easier or faster to program there. Time to market is everything today and if NoSQL is good enough and faster to market, it will win most of the time.

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SQL vs. NoSQL, OK, I Give Up

July 4, 2013

In the long running relational (SQL) vs NoSQL database debate, I’ve always been a big relational fan, I still believe it is the best technology to store data without error but I give in. It’s great technology but it’s too inaccessible. It’s too expensive, too fragile, too hard to manage, too hard to program etc. All the action from now on will be with NoSQL

I feel like the guy with a Sun Workstation in 1995 telling the world that Windows95 PCs are vastly inferior tech. They were but it didn’t matter. Windows95 was so accessible, it just took over everything. All the application action moved to that platform. And eventually Microsoft and Intel created a platform as good as any workstation and nobody has talked about workstations for years now.

Relational DBs will survive of course. Just as Sun servers now flourish hidden in every datacenter in the world, behind all that NoSQL will still be Oracle and DB2 holding the really important stuff. But only a few DBA geeks will ever see it. No interesting new apps will be written to it directly, just legacy maintenance. Business wil no longer put up with the high cost to run relational DBs, they will just run what they must, outsourced to the lowest bidder. Not a very interesting place to be.

I’ll grant an exception to MySQL. Since it was born into the online WEB world that NoSQL also serves ,it has some of that same easy accessibility. The SQL database for the NoSQL world perhaps.