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SQL’s dad says yes to NoSQL

by on13 May 2024

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Donald Chamberlin (pictured), the visionary behind SQL, is now championing NoSQL.

After celebrating SQL's half-century, he reckons that NoSQL is the way to go for stuff that old-school databases just can't handle.

He said that the world doesn't stay the same, especially in computer science. It's a very fast, evolving industry. New requirements are coming, and technology must change to meet them.

“The NoSQL movement is motivated by new kinds of applications, particularly web applications, that need massive scalability and high performance. Relational databases were developed in an earlier generation when scalability and performance weren't quite as important. To get the scalability and performance that modern apps need, many systems are relaxing some of the constraints of the relational data model," he said.

Chamberlin is currently a tech advisor to Couchbase. He's all for SQL++, cooked up by Yannis Papakonstantinou, to sort out the headache of fitting square pegs in round holes when it comes to matching app data with database structures. SQL++ is like the new kid on the block, making it easier to work with the JSON stuff that's all over JavaScript. Couchbase and AWS are already giving it a whirl, though AWS likes to call it PartiQL.

Chamberlin adds: "I don't think SQL is going to go away. A large part of the world's business data is encoded in SQL, and data is very sticky. Once you've got your database, you'll leave it there. Also, relational systems do a very good job of what they were designed to do... [I]f you're a startup company that wants to sell shoes on the web or something, you'll need a database, and one of those SQL implementations will do the job for free. I think relational databases and the SQL language will be with us for a long time."


Last modified on 13 May 2024
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