Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

NoSQL is Not the Answer

By Steve Jones,

There's a lot of talk and press around NoSQL databases, which are a class of systems that are different from relational databases (RDBMS). Most of us are familiar with the competitive RDBMS's to SQL Server; systems like Oracle, DB/2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and a few more. NoSQL systems are less well known, going by names like Cassandra, MongoDB, and the best known system used by Google, BigTable.

It seems there are a lot of ranting and raving about which system is better, and even some comparisons that look at performance in different ways that we use systems. I found a SQL Server v MongoDB comparison recently. It seems to show that SQL Server lags way behind MongoDB in terms of simple insert, update, and select operations. I'm not sure it's the best real world test, but it shows some interesting results.

Those comparisons  are important, but ultimately we do a lot more than simply insert rows and select from basic small sets of data in many of our applications. I see many systems making use of complex queries with aggregations, multi-table joins, and complex sorting operations. These might work well in a NoSQL system, but they also might not. Who knows how well complex business transactions and reports will perform on these platforms. Someone will have to try and see if these systems can handle those needs.

NoSQL is worth examining further and learning about. I would not be surprised to see some of the features, such as easier scale-out, coming to SQL Server in the next few years. However I’m certainly not ready to view NoSQL systems as any type of evolution of the RDBMS. I think it's much more likely that NoSQL systems solve a certain domain of problems better than a row-oriented RDBMS, much like column-oriented databases seem to be much more efficient at working with some types of data warehouses.

Steve Jones

BTW, if you want to listen to a little NoSQL humor, check out this video. It's Not Safe For Work (NSFW), so be sure that you have a properly configured "cone of silence" so as not to offend others.

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there. Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

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

You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Total article views: 386 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
Related Articles

NoSQL Basics

Today Steve Jones talks about NOSQL and why it might be important for SQL Server DBAs to understand ...


SQL Server Podcasts

Photo credit: Digitalnative About a year ago, I came across an online deal for a car stereo system ...


Podcast Announcements

Podcast Feeds


NoSQL: Are you ready to compromise with security

Before adopting NoSQL for a commercial application that needs consistency and durability, you need ...


NoSQL Is Not Everywhere

NoSQL has been getting a lot of press in the last year, but it's not necessarily the best platform o...


Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones