Why is NoSQL needed?

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March 20, 2012
Understanding NoSQL And Its Uses
By Trevor Boland
In college I took a lot of database classes. Relational database design, Advanced database applications relating to RDBMSes, SQL, and PL/SQL. By the time I was done, I thought I was ready. Two months later my boss tells me, "SQL is the past, NoSQL is the FUTURE!" Are you kidding me? So my college credits were for...what exactly? More than that, what is NoSQL? Why is it better or worse than SQL? Without realizing it, I had undertaken a quest. NoSQL was my enemy, the enemy of my knowledge. And to defeat your enemy, you must understand it.

It didn't take long to realize that there actually was a need for something new. RDBMSes were great in their time but as technology grows so does the data we need to save. In 2010 more digital data was saved than the two prior years combined. And as more and more data is generated outside of a controlled environment and contributed to data storage, the complexity grows to be too much for an RDBMS. Enter NoSQL. Developed in 1998 by Carlo Strozzi, NoSQL was a "lightweight open-source relational database that did not expose the standard SQL interface." Thought the name remains the same, the current movement is far removed from the still relational database from which it gets it's name.

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