More on NoSQL and Object databases


There is a nice Collection of opinions and discussion about NoSQL databases, object databases and all kinds of “post-relational” database technologies over at ODBMS Industry Watch.

Since CouchDB, MongoDB and other new DBs are showing up weekly, the question whether RDBMS is really the way to go for all scenarios and whether there are easier, cheapier and more effective ways of persisting objects and documents is heating up. Just about one and a half decades after everybody agreed that OODBMS are dead.

Which they are not. Just take a look at Gemstone/S aka GLASS. Seems they are generating quite some buzz. Smalltalk has been a playground for OODBMs for at least two decades, apart from gemstone, there surely are a few more that are still around:  Magma and VOSS come to mind.

There also are some adapters for interfacing Smalltalk to databases like Amazon’s SimpleDB (project Cloudfork) or other RESTful Web Services-capable Databases (CouchDB).

So if you want to combine the highly productive and stable programming language Smalltalk with databases that fit nicely into the object paradigm and let you forget about relational restrictions (which of course also bring quite some benefits), feel warmly welcomed in the Smalltalk community, there are lots of choices for you.

In the above-mentioned article, I had a great laugh about this one:

” it is an interesting discussion. I have heard the term “NoSQL”. I did find the comment about relational databases not supporting key/value stores amusing: “…and index key/value based data, another key characteristic of “NoSQL” technology. The schema seems very simple but may be challenging to implement in a relational database because the value type is arbitrary.”
In Oracle, one simply needs a table as follows:

CREATE TABLE key_value (
the_key NUMBER,
the_value BLOB);

There you go! Key/value. How much simpler can you get? “

That’s clearly a case of “best of both worlds” !!!

Unfortunately, I know a few projects that really use such a DB design.
Unnecessary to say that using such a model throws away most benefits of both techniques… So, please read it as a joke, or at least don’t call me to fix your project, it’s going to be expensive ;-)))