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The Voice of the DBA

Is Your Data Relational?

When should you use MongoDB? I've asked that question a few times, and I haven't gotten a good answer I understand. I've read about a few of the NoSQL, document databases, and I think they do have a place in the world. There are domains of problems that they solve better than relational databases. I'm sure that streaming databases, graph databases, columnar databases, and more have places where we they shine, but I still believe that many, perhaps most, problems are best solved by relational databases.

I saw this piece about MongoDB being a poor choice by the Diaspora developers because they hadn't modeled their data well. It's a decent analysis of a real situation, and I think it's one that has probably been repeated many times by many developers that were intimidated, frustrated, or otherwise turned off by relational platforms.

There is a cost to using a relational platform, and it can require expensive developer time to map objects to relational structures. However the solution isn't to abandon the relational platform. The better solution is likely to train developers and hire a few DBAs that can help with the mapping and queries to solve problems.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

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Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

Follow Steve Jones on Twitter to find links and database related items and announcements.

Steve Jones

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Featured Contents


High-Performance Transact-SQL with Window Functions

Kamil Moscicki from SQLServerCentral.com

Window functions are more intuitive and simpler in many cases than alternative SQL methods. More »


Getting Ready for Big Data: Prepping the Data Warehouse

Additional Articles from Database Journal

Big Data implementations bring their own problems and issues, and will require database administrators and support staff to redesign the data warehouse architecture. Here's how. More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jacobs):

Given you have the following table:

create table #temp1
i int identity(1,1),
a numeric(8,2)

Your values in this table are

What can be added to order column 'a' in ASC order (Select all that can be applied)? 


  1. column 'a' will allow duplicates.
  2. A select statement is used to return values (Select a from #temp1)

(Please choose 4)

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.

We keep track of your score to give you bragging rights against your peers.
This question is worth 2 points in this category: T-SQL.

We'd love to give you credit for your own question and answer.
To submit a QOTD, simply log in to the Contribution Center.


SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Joes 2 Pros®: A Tutorial for Implementing High Availability and Disaster Recovery using AlwaysOn Availability Groups

SQL Server 2012 brought in some great new features and one of the important ones is scalability and performance via AlwaysOn. AlwaysOn is a superset feature and is a combination of many things you will learn about. As the language suggests, this technology achieves a SQL Server infrastructure that can be "always on". For businesses that run 24x7 downtime means the loss of business. This type of risk is out of the question for these businesses. This book discusses in detail the concepts of SQL Server AlwaysOn starting from the basics.


Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

If I wanted to avoid matching a character, which wildcard would I use inside the square brackets? 

Answer: ^


The caret (^) is the wildcard that will avoid matching a single character. A couple examples: 

WITH    myCTE ( mychar )
          AS ( SELECT 'Steve'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Andy'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Adam'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Bdam'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Pteve'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Billy'
    SELECT mychar
        FROM myCTE
        WHERE mychar LIKE '[^a]dam';

WITH   myCTE ( mychar )
          AS ( SELECT 'Steve'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Andy'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Adam'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Bdam'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Pteve'
               UNION ALL
               SELECT 'Billy'
    SELECT mychar
        FROM myCTE
        WHERE mychar LIKE '[^a-r]teve';

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

Featured Script

Generate Trigger DDL

David Kranes from SQLServerCentral.com

Use this script to generate individual .sql files for each trigger in your database.

More »

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