The Emergence of Key/Value Databases


Key/value databases (KVDs) are emerging as a potential challenge to the long-held monopoly of relational databases. The weakly-typed nature of KVDs is not unlike the growing trend with weakly-typed programming languages such as VB, JavaScript, PHP, Python and Perl (programming by convention -- "strong typing is for weak programmers"). The KVD trend is emerging in concert with the maturing of cloud computing (see my post from yesterday). The KVD paradigm simplifies object-data mapping but suffers from data duplication in exchange for improved scalability (perhaps an acceptable tradeoff, given that disk space is cheap). The biggest mind-shift is that the responsibility for ensuring data integrity is moved to the application.

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