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MongoDB, Data Modeling, and Adoption

Micheal Shallop describes in this post how he “built and re-buit” a geospatial table, replacing several tables in MySQL with MongoDB:

The mongo geospatial repository will be replacing several tables in the legacy mySQL system – as you may know, mongodb comes with full geospatial support so executing queries against a collection (table) built in this manner is shocking in terms of it’s response speeds — especially when you compare those speeds to the traditional mySQL algorithms for extracting geo-points based on distance ranges for lat/lon coordinates.  The tl;dr for this paragraph is: no more hideous trigonometric mySQL queries!

But what actually picked my attention was this paragraph:

What I learned in this exercise was that the key to architecting a mongo collection requires you to re-think how data is stored.  Mongo stores data as a collection of documents.  The key to successful thinking, at least in terms of mongo storage, is denormalization of your data objects.

This made me realize that MongoDB adoption is benefiting hugely from the fact that its data model and querying are the closest to the relational databases, neither requiring a radical mindshift from developers that have at least once touched a database. It is like knowing a programming language and learning a 2nd one that follows almost the same paradigms.

The same cannot be said about key-value stores, multi-dimensional maps, MapReduce algorithms, or graph databases. Any of these would require one to dismiss pretty much everything learned in the relational model and completely remodel the world. It’s a tougher job, but when used right the reward pays off.

Original title and link: MongoDB, Data Modeling, and Adoption (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)