The time for NoSQL standards is now

Like Larry Ellison's yacht, the RDBMS is sailing into the sunset. But if NoSQL is to take its place, a standard query language and APIs must emerge soon

By Andrew Oliver, InfoWorld |  Software, databases, nosql

NoSQL has been created for an era when storage is cheap, while performance and scalability expectations are high. It's written for an era of digital hoarders. Current business, marketing, and information technology trends have ensured that I am now fully aware of exactly what Kim Kardashian likes and how much you like her. I'm not sure why I need this information, but there it is, and it must be analyzed.

We also live in an era when even as the market is improving, internal IT departments of brick-and-mortar companies are being sized up for outsourcing. The demand for the skilled expertise of those who care for and feed Oracle databases is likely to be forcefully abated. At most companies, the DBA is often no more than a skilled system administrator.

All of this means we need databases that do not require us to flatten the data and force it into a structure that the application must transform to use. We need databases that can handle today's massive data storage across as many disks as necessary to meet our needs for immediate gratification. A delay is simply not acceptable.

Standards, anyone?Yet there are obstacles to this transition. First, NoSQL lacks a dominant force. For the RDBMS, no matter which product you choose, you have at least a subset of ANSI standard SQL on which you can depend. For any of the new databases, you may have Pig, Hive, SPARQL, Mongo Query Language, Cypher, or others. These languages have little in common. For the RDBMS, you have some connector standard, at least, in the venerable ODBC. For NewDB, you must rely on a database-specific connector.

Most people knew the RDBMS wasn't for everything and everyone, but the standard created the market. Markets lure a cascade of long-term institutional and individual investment; they also create longevity. Standards survive products, vendors, and the myopic, short attention spans of venture capitalists. There are thousands of niches in our industry -- expensive software that nearly no one uses -- but the technologies that have been most profitable over the long term have played in a standardized space. The technologies that have outlived their VC-funded startups are those where a market was created.

What does NewDB need to dislodge Oracle? Principally, the service programming interface for database drivers and Application APIs for major languages and platforms, as well as a standard query language.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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