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Choosing the proper NoSQL Database

Published on 28 June 17
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NoSQL technology while approaching different aspects that highly contribute to the use of those systems. We also presented the state of the art of non-relational technology by describing some of the most relevant studies and performance tests and their conclusions, after surveying a vast number of publications since NoSQL’s birth. This state of the art also intended to give a time-based perspective to the evolution of NoSQL research, highlighting four clearly distinct periods: 1) Database type characterization (where NoSQL was in its infancy and researchers tried to categorize databases into different sets); 2) Performance evaluations, with the advent of YCSB and a surge in NoSQL popularity; 3) Real-world scenarios and criticism to some interpretations of the CAP theorem; and 4) An even bigger focus on applicability and a reinvigorated focus on the validation of benchmarking software.

We concluded that although there have been a variety of studies and evaluations of NoSQL technology, there is still not enough information to verify how suited each non-relational database is in a specific scenario or system. Moreover, each working system differs from another and all the necessary functionality and mechanisms highly affect the database choice. Sometimes there is no possibility of clearly stating the best database solution. Furthermore, we tried to find the best databases on a quality attribute perspective, an approach still not found in current literature – this is our main contribution. In the future, we expect that NoSQL databases will be more used in real enterprise systems, allowing for more information and user experience available to conclude the most appropriate use of NoSQL according to each quality attribute and further improve this initial approach.

As we have seen, NoSQL is still an in-development field, with many questions and a shortage of definite answers. Its technology is ever-increasing and ever-changing, rendering even recent benchmarks and performance evaluations obsolete. There is also a lack of studies which focus on use-case oriented scenarios or software engineering quality attributes (we believe ours is the first work on this subject). All of these reasons make it difficult to find the best pick for each of the quality attributes we chose in this work, as well as others. The summary table we presented makes it clear that there is a current need for a broad study of quality attributes in order to better understand the NoSQL ecosystem, and it would be interesting to conduct research in this domain. When more studies and with more consistent results have been performed, a more thorough survey of the literature can be done, and with clearer, more concise results.

Software architects and engineer can look to the summary table presented in this article if looking for help understanding the wide array of offerings in the NoSQL world from a quality attribute based overview. This table also brings to light some hidden or unexpected relationships between quality attributes in the NoSQL world. For instance, scalability is highly related to the write performance, but not necessarily the read performance.
NoSQL technology while approaching different aspects that highly contribute to the use of those systems. We also presented the state of the art of non-relational technology by describing some of the most relevant studies and performance tests and their conclusions, after surveying a vast number of publications since NoSQL’s birth. This state of the art also intended to give a time-based perspective to the evolution of NoSQL research, highlighting four clearly distinct periods: 1) Database type characterization (where NoSQL was in its infancy and researchers tried to categorize databases into different sets); 2) Performance evaluations, with the advent of YCSB and a surge in NoSQL popularity; 3) Real-world scenarios and criticism to some interpretations of the CAP theorem; and 4) An even bigger focus on applicability and a reinvigorated focus on the validation of benchmarking software.

We concluded that although there have been a variety of studies and evaluations of NoSQL technology, there is still not enough information to verify how suited each non-relational database is in a specific scenario or system. Moreover, each working system differs from another and all the necessary functionality and mechanisms highly affect the database choice. Sometimes there is no possibility of clearly stating the best database solution. Furthermore, we tried to find the best databases on a quality attribute perspective, an approach still not found in current literature – this is our main contribution. In the future, we expect that NoSQL databases will be more used in real enterprise systems, allowing for more information and user experience available to conclude the most appropriate use of NoSQL according to each quality attribute and further improve this initial approach.

As we have seen, NoSQL is still an in-development field, with many questions and a shortage of definite answers. Its technology is ever-increasing and ever-changing, rendering even recent benchmarks and performance evaluations obsolete. There is also a lack of studies which focus on use-case oriented scenarios or software engineering quality attributes (we believe ours is the first work on this subject). All of these reasons make it difficult to find the best pick for each of the quality attributes we chose in this work, as well as others. The summary table we presented makes it clear that there is a current need for a broad study of quality attributes in order to better understand the NoSQL ecosystem, and it would be interesting to conduct research in this domain. When more studies and with more consistent results have been performed, a more thorough survey of the literature can be done, and with clearer, more concise results.

Software architects and engineer can look to the summary table presented in this article if looking for help understanding the wide array of offerings in the NoSQL world from a quality attribute based overview. This table also brings to light some hidden or unexpected relationships between quality attributes in the NoSQL world. For instance, scalability is highly related to the write performance, but not necessarily the read performance.

This blog is listed under Open Source and Data & Information Management Community

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