Access and Feeds

NewSQL Databases: Modernizing Traditional Relational Databases

By Dick Weisinger

Databases where created as a way for developers to separate data from code.

Relational and SQL database technology has been around since the 70’s and 80’s as an efficient tool for storing structured data. Now, 40 years and millions of applications later, SQL databases are fully hardened and have built up a strong established standards-based market and ecosystem.

In the 90’s, SQL was challenged by Object databases but fought off the competition by changing to enable compatibility with ORM layers like Hibernate. Ten years later, from about 2010, SQL was again challenged, this time by NoSQL technology. NoSQL gave up some of the benefits of relational databases in exchange for high scalability and speed.

Now more recently, an approach called NewSQL is being promoted as a way to provide SQL consistency with transactional ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) but also to provide speedy horizontal scalability. NewSQL databases can be accessed and modified with standard SQL combined with modern capabilities and architecture.

Expect existing big database companies to follow the playbook from the 90’s. These databases will likely try to graft on and modify their core engines and rearchitect themselves with the best elements of NoSQL.

The 451 analyst group said that “we have already noted the beginning for the end of NoSQL, and the lines are blurring to the point where we expect the terms NoSQL and NewSQL will become irrelevant as the focus turns to specific use cases.”

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