Essential Guide

Relational database management system guide: RDBMS still on top

While NoSQL databases are getting a lot of attention, relational database management systems remain the technology of choice for most applications. And RDBMS vendors have new tricks up their sleeves to boost performance.

Introduction

Relational databases have enjoyed a long run as the database mainstay across a wide variety of businesses, and for good reasons. They're relatively easy to create and use, and they offer reliable performance in both transaction processing and business intelligence applications, with support for transaction and data integrity. However, relational databases haven't necessarily adapted well to changes in the types and quantities of data now being generated, such as the unstructured data that is prevalent in big data applications. In addition, expanding traditional databases to accommodate rapid growth is costly.

As a result, NoSQL database technologies are challenging the monopoly of the relational database management system. There are a number of NoSQL database options, all developed to fulfill particular purposes that RDBMSs aren't designed to handle. Many organizations are finding new freedom in having so many choices when it comes to database architectures. Yet, despite their modern designs and efficiency in managing large data sets, NoSQL databases aren't the right fit for all projects -- and they aren't likely to oust relational software from the top database perch any time soon.

Depending on your business goals, traditional databases, NoSQL databases or a hybrid of the two may be best to deliver the most value. The articles and videos in this guide examine these technologies from different perspectives and explore the case for the ongoing relevance of relational databases.

1Relational databases-

Relational technology still rules database roost

Large Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Netflix are well-known users of NoSQL database technology, as it works well with the large data sets they need to manage. However, many organizations find that traditional databases are still best for their business needs. In this section, learn how relational database technologies are holding their own in the database world by evolving to meet higher levels of efficiency as well as specific business needs for various companies -- even Facebook.

Tip

Business needs come first when selecting databases

While new database technologies offer sleek designs and the promise of fast performance, for many companies a relational database management system is still best for business. Continue Reading

Opinion

Facebook exec endorses relevancy of relational databases

Learn how Facebook uses a combination of Hadoop for exploratory analysis and relational databases for operational analysis, including data slicing and dicing. Continue Reading

News

RDBMSs produce faster analytics with in-memory technology

Leading RDBMS makers are increasing the efficiency of analytical and operational processing by bringing in-memory traits to their flagship offerings. Continue Reading

Feature

Requirements stage vital to relational database design process

During the relational database design and deployment rush, don't neglect to complete a thorough requirements gathering process, says author Michael J. Hernandez. Continue Reading

Feature

SQL Server 2014 adds In-Memory OLTP power boost, hybrid cloud support

Microsoft's SQL Server 2014 database features an in-memory engine that boosts processing speeds and support for hybrid cloud environments. Continue Reading

News

Oracle Database users get in-memory option to think about

Oracle has joined the in-memory rush, adding an optional engine for processing data in memory to its flagship relational database. Continue Reading

Feature

IBM's flagship RDBMS gets a boost from DB2 BLU Acceleration

This article examines whether IBM's DB2 database is catching up to upstart analytics engines, highlighting the experience of railroad company BNSF. Continue Reading

News

SQL development still top choice for many big data projects

While some application developers have moved on to other options, traditional SQL databases are still the best choice for most projects, says consultant Tim O'Brien. Continue Reading

2NoSQL databases-

NoSQL software chips away at RDBMS dominance

While myriad NoSQL database options have emerged to help businesses address big data requirements and scalability concerns, they aren't full replacements for traditional databases. Some companies are choosing NoSQL systems to support big data applications in completely non-relational environments, but others are combining them with a relational database management system or data warehouse -- an approach that illustrates the frequent use of NoSQL to mean "not only SQL." The articles in this section examine the varied roles of NoSQL technologies and how they relate to mainstream relational databases.

Feature

Relational database dominance dented as NoSQL databases move in

NoSQL software has bit into the relational database monopoly, but even NoSQL users typically are still attached to SQL technology as well. Continue Reading

Opinion

Numerous NoSQL databases in the running to replace RDBMSs

With so many choices in the NoSQL product market, prospective users have their work cut out for them when it comes to comparing and sorting the options. Continue Reading

Answer

When should you turn to NoSQL instead of a relational database?

Consultant Mark Whitehorn says that unstructured data is often better managed by NoSQL software than by table-centric relational databases. Continue Reading

Tip

How does NoSQL stack up to relational on database security?

As more and more companies look to use NoSQL databases to manage big data, it's useful to compare the security features of NoSQL and RDBMS technologies. Continue Reading

Opinion

Free up data, create value with non-relational database technologies

Read about how organizations can combine NoSQL database architectures with conventional databases to realize new business value. Continue Reading

3Videos-

Experts talk RDBMS, NoSQL and big data

In this section, consultants and other speakers offer insight and advice on topics including the choice between relational and NoSQL databases, using Oracle databases in the big data era and building mixed data management architectures in the age of big data.

Video

Relational and NoSQL database options not so black and white

Consultant William McKnight explains how both NoSQL and relational databases have a place in most IT architectures.

Video

NoSQL databases take on Oracle RDBMS for big data uses

NoSQL databases are less expensive and more scalable, but Oracle's relational databases are more secure in terms of data-loss risk, according to Oracle user John Kanagaraj.

Video

No strict rules when it comes to building a big data ecosystem

William McKnight offers design and deployment tips for assembling information architectures in the big data era.

Video

Support big data projects with a combination of data management platforms

Learn about key trends in managing big data and find out about adoption rates for Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases from consultant John Myers.

Video

MongoDB CEO explains basics of NoSQL database technology

Get information on how NoSQL technologies work, and advice on deploying them, from Max Schireson, CEO of vendor MongoDB.

4Glossary-

Database terminology

These definitions help clarify the distinctions among various database systems.

5Quiz-

Quiz yourself on RDBMS and NoSQL

Take this brief quiz to test your knowledge of relational databases and NoSQL technologies.

Take This Quiz

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