Analysis of data management technology optimized for object data. Related subjects include:

May 17, 2011

Terminology: poly-structured data, databases, and DBMS

My recent argument that the common terms “unstructured data” and “semi-structured data” are misnomers, and that a word like “multi-” or “poly-structured”* would be better, seems to have been well-received. But which is it — “multi-” or “poly-“?

*Everybody seems to like “poly-structured” better when it has a hyphen in it — including me. :)

The big difference between the two is that “multi-” just means there are multiple structures, while “poly-” further means that the structures are subject to change. Upon reflection, I think the “subject to change” part is essential, so poly-structured it is.

The definitions I’m proposing are:

Read more

April 5, 2011

Whither MarkLogic?

My clients at MarkLogic have a new CEO, Ken Bado, even though former CEO Dave Kellogg was quite successful. If you cut through all the happy talk and side issues, the reason for the change is surely that the board wants to see MarkLogic grow faster, and specifically to move beyond its traditional niches of publishing (especially technical publishing) and national intelligence.

So what other markets could MarkLogic pursue? Before Ken even started work, I sent over some thoughts. They included (but were not limited to):  Read more

February 7, 2011

Notes on document-oriented NoSQL

When people talk about document-oriented NoSQL or some similar term, they usually mean something like:

Database management that uses a JSON model and gives you reasonably robust access to individual field values inside a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) object.

Or, if they really mean,

The essence of whatever it is that CouchDB and MongoDB have in common.

well, that’s pretty much the same thing as what I said in the first place. :)

Of the various questions that might arise, three of the more definitional ones are:

Let me take a crack at each.  Read more

August 26, 2010

More on NoSQL and HVSP (or OLRP)

Since posting last Wednesday morning that I’m looking into NoSQL and HVSP, I’ve had a lot of conversations, including with (among others):

Read more

August 22, 2010

Workday comments on its database architecture

In my discussion of Workday’s technology, I gave an estimate that Workday’s database, if relationally designed, would require “1000s” of tables. That estimate came from Workday, Inc. CTO Stan Swete, in a thoughtful email that made several points about Workday’s database strategy. Workday kindly gave me permission to quote it below.
Read more

August 22, 2010

The Workday architecture — a new kind of OLTP software stack

One of my coolest company visits in some time was to SaaS (Software as a Service) vendor Workday, Inc., earlier this month. Reasons included:

Workday kindly allowed me to post this Workday slide deck. Otherwise, I’ve split out a quick Workday, Inc. company overview into a separate post.

The biggie for me was the data and object management part. Specifically:  Read more

June 19, 2010

Objectivity Infinite Graph

I chatted Wednesday night with Darren Wood, the Australia-based lead developer of Objectivity’s Infinite Graph database product. Background includes:

Infinite Graph is an API or language binding on top of Objectivity that:

Read more

April 3, 2010

Akiban highlights

Akiban responded quickly to my complaints about its communication style, and I chatted for a couple of hours with senior Akiban techies Ori Herrnstadt, Peter Beaman and Jack Orenstein. It’s still early days for Akiban product development, so some details haven’t been determined yet, and others I just haven’t yet pinned down. Still, I know a lot more than I did a day ago. Highlights of my talk with Akiban included: Read more

January 15, 2010

Intersystems Cache’ highlights

I talked with Robert Nagle of Intersystems last week, and it went better than at least one other Intersystems briefing I’ve had. Intersystems’ main product is Cache’, an object-oriented DBMS introduced in 1997 (before that Intersystems was focused on the fourth-generation programming language M, renamed from MUMPS). Unlike most other OODBMS, Cache’ is used for a lot of stuff one would think an RDBMS would be used for, across all sorts of industries. That said, there’s a distinct health-care focus to Intersystems, in that:

Note: Intersystems Cache’ is sold mainly through VARs (Value-Added Resellers), aka ISVs/OEMs. I.e., it’s sold by people who write applications on top of it.

So far as I understand – and this is still pretty vague and apt to be partially erroneous – the Intersystems Cache’ technical story goes something like this: Read more

June 8, 2008

Detailed analysis of Perst and other in-memory object-oriented DBMS

Dan Weinreb — inspired by but not linking to my recent short post on McObject’s object-oriented in-memory DBMS Perst — has posted a detailed discussion of Perst on his own blog. For context, he compares it briefly to analogous products, most especially Progress’s — which used to be ObjectStore, of which Dan was the chief architect.

This was based on documentation and general sleuthing (Dan figured out who McObject got Perst from), rather than hands-on experience, so performance figures and the like aren’t validated. Still, if you’re interested in such technology, it’s a fascinating post.

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