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Diaspora Drops MongoDB for MySQL or Social Data and Graph Databases

The first alpha of Diaspora, released a while back, was using MongoDB and that brought both project some press.

Now I’ve heard that MongoDB has been replaced with MySQL. And the reason is not security. Sarah Mei1tweeted:

Social data is relational. […] amazingly enough, document databases aren’t great at storing relational data

That’s a very interesting remark.

Leaving aside for a second the size of social data which some would say poses questions about the cost effectiveness of using relational databases, I think this is just another example of confusing relationships for relational model.

Social data is fundamentally unstructured and that makes it a good fit for schemaless storage. Even those that are using RDBMSes for storing social data are bending them to fit unstructured inside a schema constraint storage.

On the other hand, social data keeps its value if existing relationships are preserved.

So, is there a solution that would allow one to store unstructured data showing strong relationships? And I’d say the answer is obviously graph databases.

But the size challenge remains and while some are testing various approaches, graph databases are still difficult to scale.

Update: Sarah Mei mentioned on Twitter that she actually meant relational, but didn’t provide any other details.

Original title and link: Diaspora Drops MongoDB for MySQL or Social Data and Graph Databases (NoSQL databases © myNoSQL)