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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (20 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617291072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617291074
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dan McCreary is a consultant with a focus on advanced technologies. He has worked for Bell Labs, the supercomputing industry, Steve Jobs NeXT Computer and cofounded a75-person consulting company. Beginning in 2000 he has focused on XML integration technologies and in 2006 he started focusing on native XML and XQuery systems. He is cofounder of the NoSQL Now! Conference.

Ann Kelly is a NoSQL developer and NoSQL project manager with over 20 years experience in the computer and insurance industries. She has built NoSQL solutions for federal agencies as well as commercial projects. She is a CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJ on 9 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a good book technical managers and senior developers who are exploring NoSQL technologies in their environment. It provides a very good, broad foundation in NoSQL, starting with the benefits and different types of NoSQL systems (e.g. key/value stores, graph stores, column stores and document stores) with a few example products of each type.

It contains case studies of using relevant systems in use on sites like Amazon, Google, Apache and LiveJournal, and considerations when implementing NoSQL where there are varying degrees of risk, such as a sales orders system versus a read-mostly search platform.

Crucially, it explains how systems using NoSQL ("Not Only SQL") technologies can complement existing traditional RDBMS-powered systems, rather than replace them altogether. It discusses which NoSQL systems are suited for different kinds of optimization of legacy systems, depending on the technical benefits required. While less technical than later sections, these chapters may help in the practical implementation of NoSQL within business, for example by helping to achieve buy-in from stakeholders by positioning the adoption of NoSQL alongside existing relational databases, in order to increase the features available or to address an underlying weakness.

The second half of the book deals with how to scale NoSQL systems for big data, native XML databases, high availability, search, security and some functional programming. While this is not a book for detailed implementation of a specific solution, it provides a moderate level of technical detail in the course of discussing the different systems, such as native XML databases and Erlang code.

Each chapter contains the main text, charts & diagrams, and one or more case studies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. H. Carver on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a very enterprise-y look at NoSQL, with an emphasis on workflows and decision-making processes rather than how to actually get on with using NoSQL tools. Before buying it, take note of the subtitle: "A guide for managers and the rest of us". As a software developer, I found the lack of detail frustrating. There was relatively little content on using NoSQL, or quantitative data comparing different NoSQL systems, which is what I would want to have in order to make an informed decision about NoSQL technologies. It's also what I'd want any manager to have before making a decision about which technology to use.

The book first makes the case for NoSQL, by comparison with traditional SQL systems in the context of the CAP theorem (the idea that a database store can't guarantee to be consistent and always available and tolerant to a partition going down -- you can't have all three qualities). Case studies where NoSQL outperforms SQL are described, giving some context to the rest of the book: SQL is still best for some problems, but NoSQL is often stronger for huge datasets, search problems, high availability services and Agile development (though this is a moot point: many ORMs make SQL just as easy to use with Agile processes). There's also an introduction to functional languages, and why they work well with NoSQL databases, and the book covers security and auditing in NoSQL.

Overall, I was disappointed with the book. Early on, there is a taxonomy of the different types of NoSQL database, and I knew the book ended with a chapter on how to select the right NoSQL solution for a problem, which I was expecting to be very useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lund on 6 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a book for manager and developers who wants the broad understanding of what NoSQL is and isn't. As a developer that knows nothing about NoSQL, you will not be able to read this book and begin implementing a NoSQL solution. For the details of how to program against these databases you will have to look elsewhere (and the book never promises that you will be able to). You will however know and understand the different kinds of NoSQL databases and when to use which type. This is explained really good - Both with technical details and examplified with case studies.

The book is split into four parts:
The first part is an introduction to NoSQL concepts and the benefits of NoSQL. This part is a bit annoying, because it is repeatetly said that NoSQL is better and scales bettder than relational databases, but I don't feel the author gives an explanation as to why this is true - it feels a little like the author is preaching NoSQL, and at least there is no doubt he is a fan. This is rectified plenty in the later sections, so if you are like me, just push through, and you will get to the good stuff.
The Second part is a walkthrough of the different kind of databases, bot the relational and NoSQL databases. This gives a good understanding of what each type does well and not so well.
The third part is about NoSQL solutions with discussions about scaling, search and performance of different systems with references to real world solutions.
The fourht and last part is about the use of functional programming and utilizing the parallelism of NoSQL systems, which typically have many thousand CPUs.

This is a great book to get an overview of what NoSQL is and when to apply it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A very good introduction into the 'brave new world' of NoSQL database solutions... but not for the absolute novice 23 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The 'brave new world' or NoSQL databases (DBs) can be confusing: there are various different types of them (graph DBs, column-oriented DBs, key-value stores etc.) and a hotchpotch of vendors (and open-source solutions) - most of which claim that 'their' NoSQL solution is the best - and the answer to all problems.
I work as a technical consultant in the database/storage field, and coming from a relational database (RDBMS) background, had been looking for a good resource beyond the non-curated content to be found all over the Internet.
I have not been disappointed.

(+) The book provides a balanced and informative introduction to the different types/classes of NoSQL DBs
(+) I liked the 'jargon buster' approach of the author of actually explaining and defining a lot of the terms used. They did indeed "make sense" of NoSQL from that perspective.
(+) I also appreciated the various real-life case studies and use cases for the differing NoSQL DBs, not only taking into account the pure technical side, but also potential business drivers - this is helpful for technical folk like myself whose job entails explaining the pros and cons of DBs to non-technical/business folk who don't appreciate the intricacies of BASE vs. ACID compliance (and probably couldn't case less)
(+) Dan McCreary, the author, seems to take a balanced view in the ongoing SQL vs. NoSQL debate, something I missed from some of the other books I've read (like MongoDB in Action, HBase in Action etc.) - no SQL/RDMBS 'bashing' here.

(-) My only (ever so small) negative comment would be that the book has not been written for a non-technical/business audience. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the potential reader should be aware that he or she will probably struggle if they are not familiar with (general) database concepts.

I would give the book 4.5 stars, but settled for 4 stars - according to Amazon, 4 stars means "I like it", 5 stars "I love it". I love my wife, and my family - but I don't 'love' books. I very much 'liked' it though.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Director of Sales 11 Nov. 2013
By John Ford - Published on
Format: Paperback
Dan McCreary and Ann Kelly are two of the most intelligent technical experts in the NoSQL space. Their knowledge is both broad and deep. They have a gift for simplifying the concepts and translating them to real world examples. If you are evaluating all the NoSQL platforms out there, their book is an outstanding place to start. They cover distributed files systems, a variety of transactional databases, search engines and combinations of all of them. They give the reader a foundation for understanding why truly distributed databases can scale out to extremely large and diverse datasets. This is the best NoSQL resource I have found and I highly recommend it to any business or technical leader that is considering a new Big Data platform. The database world is evolving really quickly right now and we should consider whether our exploding volume of diverse data is being adequately utilized.

Disclaimer: While I work for MarkLogic and sell the only enterprise hardened NoSQL platform available, Dan and Ann do an extremely fair job of describing and comparing a wide variety of NoSQL products as well as talking about traditional relational approaches.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I great resource for learning to think in a NoSQL way. 18 Feb. 2014
By kathleen estrada - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was very insightful and helpful to me. As a Database Analyst, it is sometimes difficult for me to sort through the quickly changing trends in technology and find the trends that are here to stay, and what I should spend my time learning. NoSQL was not something I was ready to jump into with both feet, and to be honest, I am still not ready.

However, after reading this book, I have lost my die-hard "Oracle or Nothing" attitude. This book was helpful in showing me how to take an honest look at how we do business and see if, maybe, some of it could benefit from a NoSQL approach. If you are all Oracle and MySQL, this book keeps you firmly in your comfort zone. It explains the features of NoSQL, but also helps you understand when it would be better to stick with the old SQL way.

By the end of the book you will find more than one way that using the NoSQL approach in one or two areas of your current databases will save you both time and money. You will also have a better understanding on the wave of the future (OK, the wave of the now) in Cloud Databases.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Future of Mobile and Web Development Starts Here, NoSQL 18 Feb. 2014
By Jim T. Pickering - Published on
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book as the first choice in getting started with NoSQL, whether you’re a mobile or web developer, architect, DBA, or a manager. It says the book is for managers, and some have criticized that it is likely too technical for managers, but I would argue that managers in the area of mobile or web development should have a basic understanding of the NoSQL options presented in this book. If a manager doesn’t have the interest or the ability to explore this book, they should perhaps be managing a different group that is less technical in nature. The information in this book is critical to mobile and web development moving forward.

I appreciated that the book started out explaining traditional SQL concepts, (ACID), in order to contrast the differences with NoSQL (BASE). It then goes into pretty good detail on the various types of NoSQL technologies available. And so, just like the web programming language would be selected to deliver the best solution for a given set of requirements, so it goes now with NoSQL. Each has its niche usage, which feels odd for web development which for decades was merely a choice amongst T-SQL products(SQL Server, MySQL, etc.) and PL-SQL (Oracle). I found the chapter on choosing the right NoSQL technology to be very informative.

There are some big league type NoSQL technologies explored in the book like Hadoop and Cassandra. Plenty of coverage of XML-type solutions, which seem less attractive these days with the prevalence of JSON. While Document databases are covered, the brevity of information as compared to other NoSQL options, makes them feel less valuable. But in reality, that is far from the truth, as some of the most popular NoSQL options for replacing the traditional RDBMS, are document-based, like MongoDB and Couchbase.

While the book can be read cover to cover, I feel like it is a good resource to fall back on as a reference, when you need to remind yourself the pros and cons of a particular NoSQL technology. Like when your app is ready for some business intelligence and/or reporting features, you will want to review the section on NoSQL Graph databases.

This book really does make sense of NoSQL, and it goes highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An excellent overview, with good balance 3 Nov. 2013
By Si Dunn - Published on
Format: Paperback
I took some training recently in how to use a popular NoSQL database program, MongoDB. So I was happy to read this book. It is NOT a how-to guide for learning to use NoSQL programs and build NoSQL databases. Instead, it is a meaty, well-structured overview aimed primarily at "technical managers, [software] architects, and developers." However, it also is written to appeal to other, not-so-technical readers who are curious about NoSQL databases and where NoSQL could fit into the Big Data picture for their business, institution, or organization. "Making Sense of NoSQL" lives up to its subtitle as: "A guide for managers and the rest of us."

Many executives, managers, consultants and others are dealing with very expensive questions related to Big Data and how it impacts their current databases, database management systems, and the personnel who maintain them. I won't try to summarize the various problems that can bedevil those who operate and update big relational (also known as SQL) databases and their huge arrays of servers assembled over years or decades. Authors Dan McCreary and Ann Kelly are strong proponents, of course, of the NoSQL approach. It offers, they note, "many ways to allow you to grow your database without ever having to shut down your servers." But they also realize that NoSQL likely will not be a good, nor affordable, choice in many cases. Indeed, a blending of SQL and NoSQL systems sometimes may be the best solution. Or, making changes from SQL to NoSQL may not be financially feasible. So they have structured their book into four parts that attempt to help readers "objectively evaluate SQL and NoSQL database systems to see which business problems they solve."

Part 1 of "Making Sense of NoSQL" offers an overview of NoSQL, its history, and its possible business benefits. Part 2 focuses on "database patterns," including "legacy database patterns (which most solution architects are familiar with), NoSQL patterns, and native XML databases." Part 3 examines "how NoSQL solutions solve the real-world business problems of big data, search, high availability, and agility." And Part 4 looks at "two advanced topics associated with NoSQL: functional programming and system security."

McCreary and Kelly point out that "[t]he transition to functional programming requires a paradigm shift away from software designed to control state and toward software that has a focus on independent data transformation." (Erlang, Scala, and F# are some of the functional languages they highlight.) And: "It's no longer sufficient to design a system that will scale to 2, 4, or 8 core processors. You need to ask if your architecture will scale to 100, 1,000, or even 10,000 processors." Meanwhile, various security challenges can come into play as a NoSQL database "becomes popular and is used by multiple projects" across "department trust boundaries."

Along with readers in the target audiences, I would recommend this book to computer science students and others who are trying to stay knowledgeable about Big Data technology and issues.
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