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Unpacked Network

#140 – Introduction to Document-Orientated Databases

January 24, 2020

This week, Chris and Martin speak to David Koppe, Director of Information Strategy at MongoDB. The discussion covers document-orientated databases, or simply document databases, and their appeal to the enterprise.

Document databases differ from traditional relational databases in that the data is stored within each “document” as a series of key-value pairs. In this instance a document is not to be confused with a Word or PDF file. Unlike relational databases, document records don’t have to be “symmetrical” and aren’t required to contain every field (or a null value for empty fields). This makes the development of applications much more flexible than traditional relational schema.

The team dig down and look at further differences, including exactly how documents are stored. In the case of MongoDB, this is JSON or on disk as BSON. Document databases aren’t required to offer ACID compliance, but this may be a requirement for the enterprise, where transactional applications expect strong consistency (think CAP theorem and PACELC).

Finally, Dave provides some background on the types of applications developed with document-orientated databases. For more information on MongoDB, check out https://www.mongodb.com/.

Elapsed Time: 00:43:34


* 00:00:00 – Intros* 00:02:00 – What is a document-orientated database?* 00:05:10 – How are document databases related to key-value stores?* 00:07:10 – How do document databases compare to relational or hierarchical databases?* 00:09:30 – Document databases are like sparse relational databases* 00:13:10 – We are in a polyglot database world* 00:15:35 – NoSQL means “Not only SQL”* 00:18:15 – Diving Deeper – What are JSON and markup languages?* 00:19:25 – MongoDB uses BSON to enforce type fidelity* 00:20:55 – Do document databases offer ACID compliance?* 00:25:00 – CAP Theorem and PACELC Theorem* 00:26:20 – Eventual vs strong consistency* 00:30:00 – How does indexing and searching work with sparse records?* 00:32:40 – How do storage engines work for databases?* 00:36:35 – What tools are used to interact with document databases?* 00:39:00 – How are companies using document databases?* 00:42:10 – Wrap Up

Related Podcasts & Blogs

* #98 – Shared Storage for Scale-out Databases with Walt Hinton* Databases are the next battleground for Public Cloud* Database Replication is Hard

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