NoSql and its Skeptics

A September 2010 post by Michael Stonebraker was the subject of some back-and-forth in a recent CACM.  Dr. Stonebraker was saying that enterprise customers were skeptical of non-SQL or anti-SQL approaches because, among other things, they lacked ACID coherence and didn’t have a uniform functional query language like SQL.

The discussion was reminisicint of many in the “disuptor/disruptee” wars of technology: noSQL approaches (lumping them together for the moment) are inadequate for the cutting-edge needs (OLTP) of the cutting-edge users (big enterprise customers).  Of course, there are a number of niche applications — processing Web logs, for example, or call data records, or maybe BI applications in general — where the noSQL-based solutions are “good enough”, or, maybe, even better.

The trick for the noSQL vendors — and their investors — is to find out which niches those are and suffice them, quick.

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