Home > Big Data, DBA, NoSQL > Statements in support of NoSQL and Big Data technology by the inventor of the relational model

Statements in support of NoSQL and Big Data technology by the inventor of the relational model


“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

—from The Merchant of Venice (1596) by William Shakespeare

“Yet see what strong intellects dare not yet hear God himself, unless he speak the phraseology of I know not what David, or Jeremiah, or Paul. We shall not always set so great a price on a few texts, on a few lives. We are like children who repeat by rote the sentences of grandames and tutors, and, as they grow older, of the men of talents and character they chance to see,—painfully recollecting the exact words they spoke; afterwards, when they come into the point of view which those had who uttered these sayings, they understand them, and are willing to let the words go; for, at any time, they can use words as good when occasion comes. If we live truly, we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong, as it is for the weak to be weak. When we have new perception, we shall gladly disburden the memory of its hoarded treasures as old rubbish.”—from Self-Reliance (1841) by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Performance trumps theory:

“Any buyer confronted with making a decision regarding which DBMS to acquire should weigh three factors heavily. The first factor is his performance requirements, often expressed in terms of the number of transactions which must be executed per second, even though the average complexity of each transaction is an important consideration also. Only if his performance requirements are extremely severe does he need [emphasis added] to rule out present releases of relational DBMS products on this basis.”—from An Evaluation Scheme for Database Management Systems that are claimed to be Relational by Dr. Edgar Codd, the inventor of the relational model

Graph problems don’t benefit from the relational model:

It may be argued that in some applications the problems have an immediate natural formulation in terms of networks. This is true of some applications, such as studies of transportation networks, power-line networks, computer design, and the like. We shall call these network applications and consider their special needs later. The numerous data bases which reflect the daily operations and transactions of commercial and industrial enterprises are, for the most part, concerned with non-network applications. … Except in network applications, links should not be employed in the user’s data model.”—from Normalized Data Base Structure: A Brief Tutorial by Dr. Edgar Codd, the inventor of the relational model, the inventor of the relational model

Eventual consistency is a valid design choice:

“There are, of course, several possible ways in which a system can detect inconsistencies and respond to them. In one approach the system checks for possible inconsistency whenever an insertion, deletion, or key update occurs. Naturally, such checking will slow these operations down. [emphasis added] If an inconsistency has been generated, details are logged internally, and if it is not remedied within some reasonable time interval, either the user or someone responsible for the security and integrity of the data is notified. Another approach is to conduct consistency checking as a batch operation once a day or less frequently. Inputs causing the inconsistencies which remain in the data bank state at checking time can be tracked down if the system maintains a journal of all state-changing transactions. This latter approach would certainly be superior if few non-transitory inconsistencies occurred.”—from A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks by Dr. Edgar Codd, the inventor of the relational model

The underlying storage structures may validly include XML, object-relational, key-value, document, and column-family storage structures:

“It is important to remember that we are not making a case for or against any physical [emphasis in the original text] storage structures.”—from Normalized Data Base Structure: A Brief Tutorial by Dr. Edgar Codd, the inventor of the relational model

SQL is far from perfect:

“SQL departs significantly from the relational model.”—from The Relational Model for Database Management Version 2 by Dr. Edgar Codd, the inventor of the relational model

Biography of Dr. Edgar Codd by C.J. Date

The False Premise of NoSQL

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