Seven Signs You May Need a NoSQL Database
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:40AM
Todd Hoff in nosql

While exploring deep into some dusty old library stacks, I dug up Nostradamus' long lost NoSQL codex. What are the chances? Strangely, it also gave the plot to the next Dan Brown novel, but I left that out for reasons of sanity. About NoSQL, here is what Nosty (his friends call him Nosty) predicted are the signs you may need a NoSQL database...

  1. You noticed a lot of your database fields are really serialized complex objects in disguise. Why bother with a RDBMS at all then? Storing serialized objects in a relational database is like being on the pill while trying to get pregnant, a bit counter productive. Just use a schemaless database from the start.
  2. Using a standard query language has become too confining. You just want to be free. SQL is so easy, so convenient, and so standard, it's really not a challenge anymore. You need to be different. Then NoSQL is for you. Each has their own completely different query mechanism.
  3. Your toolbox only contains a hammer. Hammers while wonderfully versatile, can not make a nice latte. One size doesn't fit all. Right tool for the right job and all that jazz.
  4. You really feel like protesting something, but all the really cool causes are full up. Protesting the many centuries of relational database hegemony is a first rate cause you can be proud of. Think of all the stirring chants: "Let My Schema Go!" or "Give Me Primary Key Access or Give Me Indexes!" or "Don't Join On Me!"
  5. You stepped in a giant pile of impedance mismatch and need to wash off your shoes. Maybe whatever product you are trying to build would be better represented by a graph? Or a document model? Or a super model? Stop viewing the world from table colored glasses.
  6. Maintaining a completely separate object caching system on top of an already beefy table storage system, has started to seem a little silly. It's a massive duplication of effort, resources, and the consistency problems are brutal.
  7. The Four Horseman contract you to build a fast and infinitely scalable website to help crowd source their new startup: EndOfTheWorld.me.

Only time will tell if Nostradamus is as accurate with his NoSQL predictions as he has been with everything else.

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