What Are You For?

Feb 25, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Database, NoSQL, Snark  //  2 Comments



NoSQL started out as meaning “No SQL” as in “No Relational Databases”.  It represented a movement to replace RDMBSs like SQL Server, DB2, Oracle, MySQL and Sybase.  Over time, the more adept architects realized that there’s a place for both relational and non-relational technologies. However, NoSQL was a brand at this point, so like KFC, they redefined this as meaning “Not Only SQL”.  This has been a nice turn of events, but it’s still a branding issue.

I believe the NoSQL community needs a new name – a new brand – to say what the community stands for.  In fact, I was on a closing panel at NoSQL Now! that discussed this need.  We didn’t really come up with an answer, but the general consensus was saying you aren’t isn’t nearly as helpful as saying what you are.

So what are those solutions that aren’t relational?  DocBlobGraphEVA?


  • Maybe NoSQL is not a community, but a concept embraced by other communities? Perhaps, its definition is simply the intersection of the venn diagram of those communities. It’s sort of like ALT.NET. ALT.NET wasn’t about being against TFS, SQL Server, or the “default C# stack”. Its about saying, “just because I use C# doesn’t mean I can’t use nunit, git, and oracle instead of mstests, tfs and SQL Server”

    Why does NoSQL have to be a community? I use mongo. I talk about mongo at .NET conferences. I talk about how Mongo is relevant to SQL DBAs at SQL Saturdays. I gave a Mongo talk at a generic NoSQL talk once, and it was a fun cross pollination event when I got to see people from different groups. However, it felt more like an ecumenical event than a community event.

    So I guess what I’m saying, is why brand or define NoSQL? Why not build the communities around things that are easy to define, and for the things we can’t clearly define, lets just call them ecumenical things, and embrace the fact that they exist purely for cross pollination?
    Justin Dearing recently posted..The #MongoHelp twitter manifestoMy Profile

    • We’d need to ask the people who keep using the term NoSQL. It certainly is a common term.

      And I do think it’s a community. There are conferences. There are meetups. Most of us are members of all kinds of communities, even at the same time.

      I just think it’s time for the community to come up with a better brand.
      Karen Lopez recently posted..What Are You For?My Profile

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