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NoSQL and the Impact for System Analysts

I realized that ‘NoSQL’ systems obviously didn’t use SQL to find data, but I had no idea what they used instead.

This is why the Ars article was so enlightening to me… there really isn’t an alternative to SQL, except code.

That’s disheartening to me. Yes, these large data structures make it possible to store a lot of data in a lot of places, but it clearly is a step backwards in allowing anyone who is not a developer to freely access that data. These products require me to either learn a programming language or use programming-like syntax to find the data I need. There’s a reason I’m not a programmer and requiring a programmer to give up time to help me find information is a really terrible option.

So many possible comments:

  1. We’ve already heard the “NoSQL took away the relational model and gave nothing back.” (Benjamin Black)
  2. One should not expect that all collected data to be in a relational form.
  3. If data is required to be available in a relational model, then ETL processes are required too. And these are developed by programmers.
  4. If it was possible to learn SQL to access data, then it might not be impossible to learn new approaches. Hive, PIG, and R are some already available alternatives.
  5. We’ve always dreamed of creating applications by using drag & drop tools. This never happened[1]. Expecting to query data or do data mining using visual tools is a very similar dream.

I am not saying that the current state of NoSQL tools is optimal. But expecting to see an unification of heterogenous data systems based on a structured query language feels like the wrong expectation.


  1. Visual Basic is the exception.  

Original title and link: NoSQL and the Impact for System Analysts (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)

via: http://www.betterprojects.net/2011/09/nosql-and-impact-for-system-analysts.html