A reporter asked me for some thoughts on Oracle’s new NoSQL product. For the most part, I stand by my previous comments on Oracle NoSQL. Still, NoSQL in general deserves a place in Oracle shops, so it makes sense for Oracle to try to coopt it.
Oracle’s core DBMS is not well suited to track interactions (e.g. web clicks), even in cases where it’s the choice for transactions; it’s unnecessarily heavyweight. What’s worse, using the same database to store actions and interactions can lead to serious reliability problems. If a better architecture is to dump the clicks into some NoSQL store, massage the information, and eventually put some derived data into a relational DBMS, then Oracle will naturally try to own each step of the data pipeline.
Dynamic schemas are another area of Oracle weakness, leading in some cases to outright Oracle replacements. However, pure key-value stores go too far to the opposite extreme; you should at least be able to index and retrieve data one field at a time. Based on what I’ve seen of Oracle’s marketing literature, that feature will be missing from the first release of Oracle’s NoSQL.* Until it’s in there, and until it works well, I don’t see why anybody should use Oracle’s NoSQL product.
*Frankly, that choice makes no sense to me on any level. Yet it’s the way Oracle seems to have elected to go — or, if it isn’t, then there’s somebody writing Oracle marketing collateral who’s clearly in the wrong line of work.