Next Generation Databases, NoSQL, NewSQL and Big Data

Guy Harrison

Published by





Reviewed by

Patrick Hill BSc (Hons) MSc PhD CEng MBCS CITP


10 out of 10

Relational databases have long been the predominant technology for application data storage, having the benefits of a sound theoretical basis which guides database design, a clear separation between logical and physical data structures, and a standard query language. However, the development of internet-scale applications suggests database requirements, such as response times, distribution, scalability and agility, that are not readily supported by current relational technologies. This has given rise to the emergence of a variety of different approaches to data storage and retrieval, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, it is no longer necessarily straightforward for application designers to identify the most appropriate database technology for any given application. This book aims to help application architects and developers to understand the modern database landscape by providing an introduction to, and a critical survey of, current key alternatives to relational databases.

The book is structured into two parts. The first part describes the emergence of relational databases from their forebears, and discusses some of the principal reasons that relational technologies no longer appear to provide the optimum solution for certain types of applications. This part goes on to compare and contrast the different key players in current non-relational technologies, specifically big data stores, key/value stores, document databases, graph databases, column stores and in-memory databases, along with their motivating use cases and principal advantages and disadvantages.

Part two of the book takes a deeper dive into some of the technical details of how these various types of database work. Here the author provides a comparative survey of data distribution strategies, data modelling and storage techniques as well as the database access interfaces provided by the main relational alternatives. The final chapter of this section speculates on the future direction of database technology and, taking a look at Oracle’s response to the emergent approaches, posits the ultimate convergence of database technologies.

This is an informative and well written book which should help readers to quickly learn about the key ideas behind current alternative database technologies. The authors style is authoritative, but easy to read. Chapters are well structured, with introductory sections and useful chapter summaries. There is also a helpful appendix which summarises key aspects of some of the important database technologies that are currently available. The book is a good end-to-end read, but should also serve as a valuable reference.

Recommended for anyone interested in database technology.

Further information: Apress

December 2017