Tag Archives: cassandra

On SQL vs No-SQL

The No-SQL tag really lumps together a lot of concepts that are in fact as distinct from eachother as they are from SQL/RDBMS.

An object store is not at all similar to Cassandra and Hypertable, which is not at all like an column store. And when looking at BigTable derivatives, it’s quite important to realise that Google actually does joins in middle layers or apps, so while BigTable does not have joins, the apps essentially do use them – I’ve heard it professed that denormalising everything might be a fab idea, but I don’t quite believe in that for all cases, just like I don’t believe in ditching the structured form of RDBMS being the solution.

SQL/RDBMS has had a few decades of dominance now, and has thus become the great “general purpose” tool. With the ascent of all the other tools, it’s definitely worthwhile to look at them, but also realise that each (inluding SQL based ones) have their place. Moving all your stuff wholesale from one to the other is probably a fail.

At the recent OpenSQL Camp in Portland, Brian Aker did a short (7 minute) talk, covering some of these aspects, with a humerous angle. It’s educational, and fun!