No! to SQL and No! to NoSQL
It may have sounded like I have NoSQL envy but the point I was trying to make is that Amazon had an opportunity to kick the relational model up a notch but did not rise to the occasion. Amazon could have eaten its cake—extreme performance, extreme scalability, and extreme availability for important use cases such as shopping carts—and had it too—the relational model with all its wonderful declarative power. My keynote address at the summer conference of the Northern California Oracle Users Group on August 15 is titled “Soul-Searching for the Relational Movement: Why NoSQL and Big Data Have Momentum.” The perceived deficiencies of relational technology are actually a result of deliberate choices made by the relational movement in its early years. NoSQL and Big Data technologies would not have gained popularity if they did not excel at certain tasks that relational implementations cannot handle well. Instead of pretending that the new problems do not exist, the relational movement needs to do some serious soul-searching. The full conference agenda is at http://www.nocoug.org/rsvp.html. Some guest passes are available. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a guest pass.
See also : What’s so sacred about relational anyway?
The opinions of relational theoreticians C. J. Date and Hugh Darwen about SQL are well known but they have not previously commented on the NoSQL phenomenon and so their interview in the latest issue of the NoCOUG Journal—the official publication of the Northern California Oracle Users group—makes for interesting reading. In my opinion, their comments are right on the mark even though Date admits that he knows almost nothing about NoSQL products.
In discussing Amazon Dynamo—the forerunner of the NoSQL movement—and those that came after it, Date and Darwen make these astute observations:
“Developers tend to be more concerned with convenience in database definition and updating than with the ease of deriving useful and reliable information from the database.”—Darwen
“If there’s a suggestion that Amazon’s various disaster scenarios, regarding tornados and the rest, are somehow more of…
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