While relational database technology is still the undisputed leader when it comes to enterprise data management, it is also becoming increasingly apparent that it is no longer the only game in town. By now it is clear that Not Only SQL or NoSQL technology represents a key piece of a data management picture that is increasingly diverse.
Addressing new scale and agility challenges for modern applications, the NoSQL world offers a variety of ways to open up new types of data sources and the opportunity to access institutional knowledge long bottled up in PCs and departmental silos. The so-called big data revolution is alleviating the distinctions between data types, and treats all data types equally, helping organizations to access a wealth of data.
The four key database types that fall under the NoSQL category are key-value stores which allow the storage of schema-less data, with a key and actual data, column family databases, which store data within columns, graph databases which employ structures with nodes, edges and properties to store data, and document databases, which enable simple storage of document aggregates.
NoSQL databases can run on commodity hardware, support the unstructured, non-relational data flowing into organizations from the proliferation of social media, emails, multimedia files, the Internet of Things, and other new sources.
But contrary the name NoSQL database vendors are increasingly addressing the need for their customers to use SQL as a primary language for querying data. “Shortly after the explosion of non-relational databases, around 2009, it became apparent that rather than being part of the problem, SQL would instead continue to be part of the solution,” Dell’s Guy Harrison reflected in a recent article. “If the new wave of database systems excluded the vast population of SQL-literate professionals, then their uptake in the business world would be impeded. Furthermore, a whole generation of business intelligence tools use SQL as the common way of translating user information requests into database queries.”
While the NoSQL landscape still relatively new, it is evolving quickly with new features for greater accessibility, interoperability, security and governance, and showing signs of its future potential for the enterprise.
The need to support new analytical use cases, which increasingly involves unstructured data and big data technologies, has been cited by respondents in Unisphere Research surveys as the most important factor driving adoption of new database management systems, with the need for greater flexibility and performance closely behind.
HERE ARE THE WINNERS OF THE 2016 DBTA READERS' CHOICE AWARDS FOR BEST NOSQL DATABASE: