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SQL Vs. NoSQL: Which Is Better? 306

Nerval's Lobster writes "For the past 40-some years, relational databases have ruled the data world. Relational models first appeared in the early 1970s thanks to the research of computer science pioneers such as E.F. Codd. Early versions of SQL-like languages were also developed in the early 70s, with modern SQL appearing in the late 1970s, and becoming popular by the mid-1980s. For the past couple of years, the Internets have been filled with heated arguments regarding SQL vs NoSQL. But is the fight even legitimate? NoSQL databases have grown up a bit (and some, such as Google's BigTable, are now mature) and prove themselves worthy. And yet the fight continues. Tech writer (and programmer) Jeff Cogswell examines both sides from a programming perspective."
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SQL Vs. NoSQL: Which Is Better?

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  • "No" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @12:33PM (#40663799)

    "No" [].

  • Re:No! (Score:4, Informative)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2012 @12:50PM (#40664005) Homepage

    Betteridge's Law of Headlines [] is the rule you're looking for.

  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:15PM (#40664249)

    For the past 40-some years, relational databases have ruled the data world.


    In 1972 hierarchical databases ruled the world (with a few network-model attempts here and there) and continued to do so well into the 1980s. In fact, the theory behind relational databases had only been articulated and published in June 1970. In further fact Oracle wasn't founded until 1977, and didn't ship anything until 1979, and they were the first to successfully promote that new-fangled "relational" stuff in a commercial product--prior to that IBM kept it locked up in the lab, except for some very obscure "mostly demo-ware" things, so it wouldn't threaten their then-current cash cow: IMS. IBM's entry into the relational database world, in the early 1980s or so, was a direct response to the growing sales of Oracle.

    Also in the 1980s we got: Sybase, Informix, Ingres, MS SQL Server. Then in the 1990s we started getting open-source RDBMSs, along with actually robust versions for Windows-based servers. Then in the 2000s holy crap we even got good database servers on Macs!

    Anyways, relational databases have really only "ruled the world" for the past 20 some years ;-)

  • Re:Stupid question (Score:4, Informative)

    by lambent ( 234167 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @01:19PM (#40664295)

    Ability to tune for performance on know hardware; better permissions structures; ability to get support from the company; data security, replication, backup; clustering; not wanting to reinvent the wheel using man-hours when you can more easily pay for a known working solution that is well documented ...

    etc. There are a lot of reasons.

  • by PhrstBrn ( 751463 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @04:11PM (#40666125)

    Every time I see this debate, this is what I always see. "it depends"

    it depends on WHAT?! NoSQL people keep touting features, SQL people keep touting history, neither say "well, RDBMS is best suited for [insert descriptions here], while MongoDB is best suited for [insert descriptions here] and Lucene/Solr is best suited for [insert descriptions here]".

    RDBMS is better for dealing with transactions. NoSQL is really bad at dealing with transactions, as they don't guarantee immediate consistency (and if they do, it comes with a huge performance cost, slower than that of an RDBMS). NoSQL is better for general data warehousing. You can do data warehousing with a RDBMS, it's just extremely inflexible at that task.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @04:21PM (#40666201)
    It very much depends on the kind of data warehouse. If it's a financial data warehouse I think using NoSQL is insane (we report to the SEC out of our data warehouse, transactional integrity is important!). If your data warehouse is just trying to answer the question "what do users of my social media site find interesting" then sure, go at it with a NoSQL solution. Ultimately with NoSQL you're trading data integrity for performance/scalability, which is fine as long as you understand what the tradeoff is.

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