I love NoSQL both as a movement and as a technology. It’s a fast-paced, constantly changing area. Barely a week goes by without a new NoSQL database being created to handle a specific real-life problem.

As a movement, NoSQL is interesting in that it started wholly independently of any commercial organization. In fact, it was the brainchild of interested individuals who grouped together and shared ideas. Some core ideas certainly came from large commercial organizations, including the Bigtable paper from Google and the key-value store paper from Amazon, but NoSQL was popularized as open source.

The normal process in software development is that several commercial companies form and compete with one another and gradually the field narrows. Then, once the remaining companies prove their worth, they’re gobbled up by big boys like Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. Open-source alternatives appear only during the later phases of this cycle.

That’s not the case with NoSQL. Sure, there were a few early commercial players (very early in MarkLogic’s case — way back in 2001). However, the majority of publicly available NoSQL products were created in the open before companies incorporated them into their commercial products.

This book encourages a practical approach to evaluating NoSQL as a set of technologies and products. The book tells you how to determine which ones might meet your needs and how select the most appropriate ones. This information enables you to spot business and ...

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