SQL at 40: Ready for Retirement?
February 26, 2010
Darned interesting write up in the Kellogg (formerly the Web log of the CEO of Mark Logic Corporation). The title caught my attention: “The Database Tea Party: The NoSQL Movement.” If you are struggling with your favorite 50-year old database technology, you will want to read Mr. Kellogg’s article. This comment sums up Kellogg’s position:
If you’re struggling with an RDBMS on a given application problem you shouldn’t say: we need an open source, NoSQL type thing. You should say: we need to look at relational database alternatives. Those alternatives include a open source database projects (e.g., MongoDB, CouchDB) and key-value stores (e.g., Hadoop), but they also include commercial software offerings such as specialized DBMSs like Streambase (for real-time streams), Aster (for analytics on big data), and MarkLogic (for semi-structured data). Don’t throw out the commercial-software-benefits baby with the RDBMS bathwater.
I have written about the challenges SQL poses. I want to point out that even firms with non-RDBMS solutions * can use * SQL for certain tasks. I heard one Googler several years ago mention that MySQL was a useful tool. That may have changed now, but I have a couple of RDBMS files that work just fine. The “fine” is the key word because I am not pushing beyond the capabilities of the 40-year old invention of Dr. Codd.
You don’t see too many 40-year-olds athletes in the Olympics or professional sports. Why not take the same pragmatic approach to data management?
Stephen E Arnold, February 25, 2010
The addled goose has been paid by Mark Logic Corporation to give talks at the firm’s user meetings. I was not paid to write this news item, however. Next time I am in San Francisco I will try to get a taco out of this company’s engineering department.