Intro to Neo4j – A Leading Graph Database


Neo Technology Inc., the developers and publishers of Neo4j, describe it as “the world’s leading graph database” – a fairly boastful title but one that is at least backed up by its popularity. Companies such as eBay, Walmart, National Geographic, T-Mobile, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco are all listed customers, and the web is full of introductions and tutorials made by ... Read More »

Intro to RavenDB – A NoSQL Document Database


Built for query speed and flexibility, RavenDB is designed as a document store into which “you can just dump all your objects.” The driving forces behind RavenDB are Oren Eini (aka Ayende Rahien) and the company Hibernating Rhinos. A key design goal was to “make it a joy to develop applications because (RavenDB) gets out of your way.” RavenDB is ... Read More »

Intro to CouchDB – A NoSQL Document Store

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Apache CouchDB (or just CouchDB) takes database technology to the Internet, even using the standard HTTP web protocol for reading and writing data. CouchDB is also designed to handle huge quantities of information with little structure while remaining highly scalable and reliable.   The name ‘Couch’ is an acronym formed from ‘Cluster of unreliable commodity hardware’.  Following its first release ... Read More »

Review of Riak – A Key-Value Store

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Riak started life as an engine for a Salesforce automation venture and in 2009 Basho Technologies, the creator of Riak, made it an Open Source application.  Riak has been designed with Amazon’s Dynamo database and the CAP theorem (Consistency-Availability-Partition Tolerance). This has led to its capabilities of fault tolerance through automatic data replication and distribution across clusters of systems. Like ... Read More »

Intro to Apache HBase – A Wide-Column Store


Apache HBase™ HBase is a wide-column (or column-oriented) database based on Google’s BigTable. Despite being best known as the NoSQL solution that Facebook adopted for their messaging platform (abandoning their own database, Cassandra, in the process), it has a fairly enviable list of companies that use it – including Adobe, Twitter, and Yahoo! It was originally developed by Powerset, for ... Read More »

CAP Theorem – What does it mean to you?

The CAP Theorem – Yes, No or… Maybe If you haven’t yet met the CAP theorem, it goes like this. A distributed computer system cannot simultaneously guarantee all of the following: Consistency. All parts of the computer system see the same data at the same time Availability. Every request made to the system receives a response, whether positive or negative ... Read More »

Intro to Redis – A NoSQL Key-Value Store

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Blazingly fast and rapidly replicable are two of the characteristics often associated with the Redis key-value store. From its first version in 2009 by its chief developer Salvatore Sanfilippo, Redis (from REmote DIctionary Server and a play on ‘Redistribute’) has become one of the stars of the NoSQL database family. Redis can and often does work entirely in RAM. This ... Read More »

Intro to MongoDB – A NoSQL Document Database


A Little Background on MongoDB MongoDB is a child of cloud computing, where boundaries between systems no longer exist and everything is infinitely scalable, or almost. The derivation of the name ‘MongoDB’ from ‘humongous’ already gives you a strong hint about what kind of data store you’re dealing with. Its inventor, the 10gen Company, began building MongoDB in 2007. A version ... Read More »

Intro to Cassandra – A wide-column store


The Apache Cassandra Project Cassandra has already been mentioned a few times on this blog, due to its status as one of the big two NoSQL wide-column database solutions and its use by eBay, Netflix, Twitter and Reddit (among others). It was originally developed by Facebook, to power their inbox search feature, but was released under an open-source license in ... Read More »

Guide to Graph Databases – NoSQL Explained

Network of testimonials: flickr's social network

NoSQL Graph Databases Graph databases are a fairly unusual concept that has received a lot of attention with the increasing popularity of NoSQL, although they have existed in various forms for quite some time. Whereas most databases and file systems hold each item in a list and maintain an index of where each item is stored, graph databases define each ... Read More »