Sometimes we’re presented with facts that force us to reassess what we think we know. After spending most of our working life performing data modeling tasks with a focus on storing data in rows, we learned that the modeling process might not be necessary. While this information didn’t mean our current knowledge was invalid, it forced us to take a hard look at how we solved business technology problems. Armed with new knowledge, techniques, and problem-solving styles, we broadened the repertoire of our solution space.

In 2006, while working on a project that involved the exchange of real estate transactions, we spent many months designing XML schemas and forms to store the complex hierarchies of data. On the advice of a friend (Kurt ...

Get Making Sense of NoSQL now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.