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8/19/2014
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EnterpriseDB Says JSON Toolkit Nixes NoSQL Drawbacks

NoSQL databases start out easy, but you'll later struggle with data logic, says EnterpriseDB. JSON toolkit promises best of NoSQL and RDBMS.

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EnterpriseDB on Tuesday introduced a free developer kit on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for building NoSQL-style, Web 2.0 applications without the drawbacks of using a NoSQL database.

EnterpriseDB provides software, support, and Oracle-compatible database functionality based on the open source Postgres relational database management system (RDBMS). The vendor's new Postgres Extended Datatype Developer Kit makes it easier for developers to use Postgres for the kinds of applications that are routinely built with NoSQL products, according to the company. Postgres already supported key-value stores and sparse tables, but the toolkit takes advantage of JSON-data-handling capabilities recently expanded to include binary JSON B, making it possible to support document databases.

"With JSON support in Postgres, you can represent JSON documents just as easily as you can do it in MongoDB," said Marc Linster, EnterpriseDB senior VP, products and services, in an interview with InformationWeek. "We've also gone through a number of test scenarios on data ingestion and data selection and found that in every case Postgres was much faster."

[Want more on NoSQL tradeoffs? Read NoSQL, NewSQL, or RDBMS: How To Choose.]

Many developers of modern Web and mobile applications have embraced NoSQL databases like MongoDB because it's easy to get started with no worries about tables, foreign keys, or working with database developers. But what these developers often later discover is that it's also easy to run into data-consistency and data-compatibility problems that ACID-compliant RDBMSs were designed to avoid, according to Linster.

Want to adhere to a corporate price list, or ISO country codes in addresses, or corporate standards for name formatting, requiring first name, last name, title, and so on? "If you're in a NoSQL-only environment, your database does not give you any tools to stick to those standards," Linster asserted. "Instead of having a good data model that can be applied across the enterprise, you have to code all that data logic in every application."

Source: EnterpriseDB
Source: EnterpriseDB

JSON support has been added to many RDBMSs, including IBM DB2 and Oracle Database, but Linster says Postgres stands apart from these commercial rivals in offering a low-cost, open source route to getting started. Postgres also offers Foreign Data Wrappers for MongoDB, CouchDB, Informix, MySQL, Neo4j, Oracle, Redis, and other data sources. These wrappers can be mapped to JDBC, LDAP, and ODBC interfaces and work with such non-traditional data sources as HTTP, Amazon S3, and Twitter.

EnterpriseDB's free toolkit will initially be offered as part of Amazon Machine Instances that will also include sample applications with code examples to help developers get started. EnterpriseDB has more than 2,000 paying customers for its support services and Postgres Plus commercial database. More than 200 of these customers are using the Postgres Plus Cloud Database on AWS. Linster said the toolkit can be brought into data centers for on-premises deployments.

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Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 8:32:49 PM
Relational rules but document-handling capabilities
EnterpriseDB is a system that present more of a challenge to use than MySQL, but meeting the challenge is likely to be worth it. Giving EnterpriseDB JSON support for JSON document handling, for example, is a great addition to the system.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 1:42:57 PM
You can't have your cake and eat it, too
Okay, so a data model gives you consistency, but it also gives you rigidity. RDBMS have been supporting JSON for some time now, but that hasn't sapped demand for NoSQL databases. When data changes and you want to add new fields or bring variable data into the mix, it's back to revising and reimplementing the model in RDBMS. There's a place for both types of products as they each have their strengths and drawbacks. 
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