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Starting out with NoSQL – part 2

In the last segment we introduced what NoSQL is and why it matters today as a formidable and cost effective way for businesses today to manage high volume, high variety applications. MongoLab is a platform we explored that has gained notoriety lately as a cloud-based distribution of MongoDB’s popular NoSQL database. There are several other well-known NoSQL distributions that small businesses would do well to familiarize themselves with. Let’s move forward by exploring some of these platforms in more detail.





A recent funding round of $60 million makes Couchbase one of the emerging and newly popular NoSQL databases on the market today, rivaling MongoDB. One of the key areas where Couchbase has innovated is in the area of providing streamlined scalability and performance for interactive applications at the intersection of what it calls “three interrelated megatrends – Big Data, Big Users, and Cloud Computing.” Cloudbase has also pushed data management for mobile offerings by enabling users to easily synchronize data between mobile devices and the cloud.

Couchbase’s open source technology is available in two versions: a Community Edition that comes without recent bug fixes, and the stable Enterprise Edition for commercial use. Couchbase builds are available for Ubuntu, Red Hat, Windows and Mac OS X platforms.




CloudDB is an Apache NoSQL distribution that is open source and focuses on ease of use and on being “a database that completely embraces the web.” CloudDB has achieved popularity in the NoSQL community by leveraging the latest web technologies to create easy data storage and access. For example, with CloudDB you can store your data with JSON documents and access your documents and query your indexes with your web browser, via HTTP. You can also index, combine, and transform your documents with JavaScript. These features have made CouchDB particularly well-suited to modern web and mobile app development. It’s even possible to serve up web apps directly out of CouchDB.

CouchDB’s features are more easily accessible through its built-in administration web interface called Futon, which allows users to manage their databases, view and edit documents, compose and run MapReduce views, and trigger replication between databases.





Amazon’s DynamoDB is a fully proprietary NoSQL database service that leverages Amazon’s immense cloud-computing infrastructure. DynamoDB is the culmination of Amazon’s 15 years of experience in building non-relational databases for its own internal needs, and represents the cloud-based version of this technology designed for external customers.

With DynamoDB all you have to do is create the database table and the service does the rest. As you scale up there is no need for hardware or software provisioning, setup and configuration, software patching, operation of a distributed database cluster, or the need to partition data over multiple instances. DynamoDB is unique in that it works on the principle of “throughput” rather than storage. Based on this model, the Amazon service will ensure that DynamoDB allocates the machine resources to meet your throughput needs along with the guarantee of consistent, low-latency performance.

Amazon’s “pay only for what you use” model with no minimum fee and low cost scalability makes it a cheap and accessible way for businesses to leverage the latest advances in NoSQL performance.




As we’ve seen in this short series, NoSQL has become a formidable way to deal with the epic increase in Big Data that has emerged in recent years. Moving beyond the limitations of traditional relational databases, NoSQL provides cheap and efficient ways to store and manage structured and unstructured data. Increasing numbers of organizations are using NoSQL today to build high-volume and high-variety online web-based and mobile applications for a fraction of the cost of traditional databases.

With the massive growth expected in the Internet of Things market and the enormous Big Data sets this will produce, small businesses would be well advised to start looking seriously at real world NoSQL use cases and taking measures to adopt the latest benefits of this technology. The alternative will mean getting left behind in the market and swallowed up by your competition. So go ahead and get onboard with NoSQL today; you’ll be glad you did!

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called virtupresence.com, along with oversight and leadership of startuplabs.co - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.