Preface - NoSQL for Mere Mortals (2015)

NoSQL for Mere Mortals (2015)


“Whatever there be of progress in life comes not through adaptation but through daring.”


It is difficult to avoid discussions about data. Individuals are concerned about keeping their personal data private. Companies struggle to keep data out of the hands of cybercriminals. Governments and businesses have an insatiable appetite for data. IT analysts trip over themselves coming up with new terms to describe data: Big Data, streaming data, high-velocity data, and unstructured data. There is no shortage of terms for ways to store data: databases, data stores, data warehouses, and data lakes. Someone has gone so far as to coin the phrase data swamp.

While others engage in sometimes heated discussions about data, there are those who need to collect, process, analyze, and manage data. This book is for them.

NoSQL databases emerged from unmet needs. Data management tools that worked well for decades could not keep up with demands of Internet applications. Hundreds and thousands of business professionals using corporate databases were no longer the most challenging use case. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Yahoo! had to meet the needs of users that measured in the millions.

The theoretically well-grounded relational data model that had served us so well needed help. Specialized applications, like Web crawling and online shopping cart management, motivated the enhancement and creation of nonrelational databases, including key-value, document, column family, and graph databases. Relational databases are still needed and face no risk of being replaced by NoSQL databases. Instead, NoSQL databases offer additional options with different performance and functional characteristics.

This book is intended as a guide to introduce NoSQL databases, to discuss when they work well and when they do not, and, perhaps most important, to describe how to use them effectively to meet your data management needs.

You can find PowerPoints, chapter quizzes, and an accompanying instructor’s guide in Pearson’s Instructor Resource Center (IRC) via the website