jlbrown writes "In a new benchmarking paper, MIT professor Mike Stonebraker and colleagues demonstrate that specialized databases can have dramatic performance advantages over traditional databases (PDF) in four areas: text processing, data warehousing, stream processing, and scientific and intelligence applications. The advantage can be a factor of 10 or higher. The paper includes some interesting 'apples to apples' performance comparisons between commercial implementations of specialized architectures and relational databases in two areas: data warehousing and stream processing." From the paper: "A single code line will succeed whenever the intended customer base is reasonably uniform in their feature and query requirements. One can easily argue this uniformity for business data processing. However, in the last quarter century, a collection of new markets with new requirements has arisen. In addition, the relentless advance of technology has a tendency to change the optimization tactics from time to time."