Why The Name NoSQL Is Meaningless (To Me)

The ‘NoSQL’ movement has gotten quite popular lately and with good reason, it is breaking new ground on distributed, scalable storage.

But the name ‘NoSQL’ really bugs me, because SQL is just a query language, it is not a storage technology. This is well illustrated in “InnoDB is a NoSQL database”, which I will quote below:

As long as the whole world is chasing this meaningless “NoSQL” buzzword, we should recognize that InnoDB is usable as an embedded database without an SQL interface. Hence, it is as much of a NoSQL database as anything else labeled with that term. And I might add, it is fast, reliable, and extremely well-tested in the real world. How many NoSQL databases have protection against partial page writes, for example?

It so happens that you can slap an SQL front-end on it, if you want: MySQL.

Another thing, it is probably better to say what you are for rather than what you are against, much more constructive. Time to get a new name/acronym I think.

Updated December 18th, 2009 – I am seeing that NoSQL is being renamed to mean Not Only SQL, which I think is much better.


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