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Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement [Paperback]

Eric Redmond , Jim R. Wilson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 22.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 May 2012 1934356921 978-1934356920 1

Data is getting bigger and more complex by the day, and so are the choices in handling that data. As a modern application developer you need to understand the emerging field of data management, both RDBMS and NoSQL. Seven Databases in Seven Weeks takes you on a tour of some of the hottest open source databases today. In the tradition of Bruce A. Tate's Seven Languages in Seven Weeks, this book goes beyond your basic tutorial to explore the essential concepts at the core each technology.

Redis, Neo4J, CouchDB, MongoDB, HBase, Riak and Postgres. With each database, you'll tackle a real-world data problem that highlights the concepts and features that make it shine. You'll explore the five data models employed by these databases-relational, key/value, columnar, document and graph-and which kinds of problems are best suited to each.

You'll learn how MongoDB and CouchDB are strikingly different, and discover the Dynamo heritage at the heart of Riak. Make your applications faster with Redis and more connected with Neo4J. Use MapReduce to solve Big Data problems. Build clusters of servers using scalable services like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Discover the CAP theorem and its implications for your distributed data. Understand the tradeoffs between consistency and availability, and when you can use them to your advantage. Use multiple databases in concert to create a platform that's more than the sum of its parts, or find one that meets all your needs at once.

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks will take you on a deep dive into each of the databases, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to choose the ones that fit your needs.

What You Need:

To get the most of of this book you'll have to follow along, and that means you'll need a *nix shell (Mac OSX or Linux preferred, Windows users will need Cygwin), and Java 6 (or greater) and Ruby 1.8.7 (or greater). Each chapter will list the downloads required for that database.


Frequently Bought Together

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement + Seven Languages in Seven Weeks: A Pragmatic Guide to Learning Programming Languages (Pragmatic Programmers) + NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence
Price For All Three: 59.04

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (21 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356920
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

Review

""The flow is perfect. On Friday, you'll be up and running with a new database. On Saturday, you'll see what it's like under daily use. By Sunday, you'll have learned a few tricks that might even surprise the experts! And next week, you'll vault to another database and have fun all over again."" --Ian Dees Coauthor, "Using JRuby"""Provides a great overview of several key databases that will multiply your data modeling options and skills. Read if you want database envy seven times in a row."" --Sean Copenhaver, Lead Code Commodore backgroundchecks.com""This is by far the best substantive overview of modern databases. Unlike the host of tutorials, blog posts, and documentation I have read, this book taught me why I would want to use each type of database and the ways in which I can use them in a way that made me easily understand and retain the information. It was a pleasure to read."" --Loren Sands-Ramshaw, Software Engineer U.S. Department of Defense

About the Author

Eric Redmond has been in the software industry for more than 15 years, working with Fortune 500 companies, governments, and many startups. He is a coder, illustrator, international speaker, and active organizer of several technology groups.

Jim R. Wilson started hacking at the age of 13 and never looked back. He has worked as an engineer and web guru at companies in the healthcare, search and marketing sectors. He began tinkering with Non-SQL databases in 2007, and has contributed code to large-scale open source projects like MediaWiki and HBase. A frequent speaker at local JavaScript and NoSQL events, he lives in Littleton, MA with his incredible wife Ruth, and two amazing children.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read 23 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first skimmed the book and then worked through it, chapter by chapter. This is an excellent introduction and hands-on into the world of polyglot persistence. Congrats to the authors and I'd like to see 'Another Seven Databases'?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book 26 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though the selection of specific products is somewhat arbitrary, given the proliferation of so-called "No-SQL" databases, this is hard to avoid. The author has done a good job of picking products that represent different types of data storage technology, and also of explaining what "No-SQL" is evolving to really mean. If you are responsible for a system that has to store data, and are reviewing your architecture, this book is a good starting point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for nosql introduction 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good overview of nosql databases. Helpful to get one started with basic understanding and then dig into more details.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Be careful to check what you learn from this book 22 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Pragmatic Programmer is a very fine book, so I set off with high expectations for Seven Databases in Seven Weeks, which is from the same publisher (The Pragmatic Bookshelf).
I was quickly disappointed.
The Foreward suggests that relational databases are dull and that the NoSQL databases are a breath of fresh air. At least the book shows its bias at the outset.
I can sort-of tolerate bias, especially if it is declared up front, but blatant errors are not acceptable. People will be seriously misled by this book.
Some detail:
Page 5: columnar databases are not an alternative to relational. Columnar is a storage technique, not a logical database structure. Sybase/IQ, InfoBright, Exasol and Sand are some of the relational databases that use “columnar” storage.
Chapter 2
Comparing PostgreSQL to a hammer really is an insult.
On the first page they dive into plug-ins. The strength of Postgres is its robust and faithful implementation to the best thought-out technology we use – relational databases. The plug-ins really are afterthoughts, and not particularly useful afterthoughts.
“Interactive Graphics and Retrieval System” was a phrase made up after the company had come up with the name Ingres. There are far more interesting and relevant stories about the birth of Ingres.
Page 10, section 2.2: CRUD
What a useless mnemonic! It is confusing because “create” is used in relational databases to create definitions of objects, such as tables, schemas, indexes, users. Insert is used to insert data into tables. Would you take a book on object-oriented tools seriously if it started off by confusing a class with its instances?
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart but easy to read. 25 Jun 2012
By Isaac Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Usually when I read technical books I feel one of the following:
A. Puzzled that such a book was made since doing a google search is far faster and easier.
B. Recognize that while the book likely makes some great points, the writing only is understandable if you already deeply understand the subject.
C. This must be one of those "guide for idiots" books since reading the book only shows some simple basics you would have figured if you just sat down and used the thing for 5 minutes.
But every once in awhile there is a book that is easy to read, doesn't treat me like an idiot, and actually explains the why and just not the what of the subject matter. When I come across such books, I carry them around, tell friends about them, and frequently re-read the relevant parts when I am coding up something that makes use of the subject matter. This is one of those books.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great information, but distracting at times 2 Oct 2012
By Justin Bramley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's a lot of good information in here and my eyes have really been opened to the world of NoSQL database solutions and how they compare to the RDBMS world with which I'm much more familiar. The chapters are laid out in a way to show off a lot of the great features, putting you on your feet fast and enabling you to see some of the strengths and weaknesses of the database solutions.

I have two gripes with the book, however. One is that at times, the authors seem to talk more about supporting technologies than the databases themselves. It's nice to see how you can use a SAX-based XML parser with some programming language to load data into the database, but other than the interface to the database itself, it's not wholly relevant to the core topic at hand.

My second gripe is that sometimes the examples feel overly contrived. In the chapter on Riak, for instance there's a comparison of getting counts by style from the database. The method shown for the RDBMS style is something that even if you had only read the chapter on PostgreSQL, you'd know was a terrible way for getting the information. There are a couple of other examples in the book where I found myself saying either, "well, yeah, but nobody in their right mind would actually do it that way," or "OK, that's nice, but how would this work for a real problem?" All that being said, this problem is endemic to introductory material in general and so, while frustrated that it is continued in this book, I don't think it detracts from the book anymore than it detracts from any other introductory reading.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Databases for Computational Journalism - Start Here 13 Jun 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To do computational journalism, at least *some* data must be collected, stored, explored, analyzed, cleaned, managed and "governed." In the past few years, the "traditional" tools for doing this, called relational database management systems (RDBMS), have been supplemented by a new class of tools broadly known as "NoSQL" databases. The name NoSQL comes from the most widely used language for dealing with a traditional RDBMS, SQL.

The NoSQL field is rapidly evolving, but enough knowledge exists to fill several books. The best overview of databases for computational journalists I've found so far comes from Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement.

I've been working through the book, which has been available for a few months in beta from the publisher in the course of collecting the tools for Data Journalism Developer Studio 2012LX and Computational Journalism Server. Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement covers, in order:

* PostgreSQL, a traditional RDBMS,
* Riak, a key-value database
* HBase, a columnar database
* MongoDB, a document-oriented database
* CouchDB, a document-oriented database,
* Neo4j, a graph-oriented database, and
* Redis, a key-value database / data structure server.

All of these databases are open source, and they're all supported by either a corporate entity, a non-profit foundation, or some combination of the two. The title really should have been "Seven Databases in Seven Weekends"; each database is covered in three-day hands-on sessions and could easily be done as a series of weekend projects. The book is hands-on - you'll build things with these databases, including a Node.js application combining Redis, CouchDB and Neo4j into an application that provides a "band information service."

Appendix A contains a pair of tables that give an overview of the distinguishing characteristics of the seven databases. As the authors put it, "Although the tables are not a replacement for a true understanding, they should provide you with an at-a-glance sense of what each database is capable of, where it falls short, and how it fits into the modern database landscape."

I believe all of these databases have a place in modern computational journalism, as do the other two well-known open source RDBMS tools, MySQL and SQLite. In particular, for spatial / mapping projects, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB and CouchDB have robust geographic information systems capabilities either built in or available as add-ons.

Riak, HBase, MongoDB and CouchDB all support "big data" applications implemented via MapReduce. MongoDB and CouchDB both store their documents as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) objects, which is the "native" format for Twitter data. Neo4j, as a graph database, is perfect for storing data about relationships, such as the interconnections between corporate executives and legislators. And because of its speed, Redis can serve as high-speed pipelines between other components in almost any application architecture.

I think NoSQL databases will be the core of computational journalism for the next few years. The RDBMS isn't going away, of course, but if you limit yourself to "SQL thinking" or even "object-relational models" and "model-view-controller" architectures, there will be applications you can't build. This book will get you up to speed as fast as you're willing to go.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of different databases 20 Jan 2013
By B. Ikehara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Instead of getting caught up with the details of each database, this book provides insight into how the database works. It is great for finding the best database to use with a certain project. Definitely learned a good overview of the databases, but I will need to get a database-specific book to learn more of the details.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey for comparison and evaluation against your needs 5 Aug 2012
By M. Helmke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My goal in reading this book was to get a better sense of the landscape, to learn the basics of several of the new databases out that have been receiving the lion's share of the buzz in the computer press. The book did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded my expectations.

All a reader absolutely must know before reading this book is what a database is, but after saying that, I will follow with a quick disclaimer that this is not intended for newbies. The book is written for experienced developers, people who understand software, who know their concepts and how to apply them, but who are interested in the latest developments. The book does not cover things like installation or systems/database administration. Instead, it gives information that surveys the strengths and weaknesses of the new databases to help the experienced developer better understand when, why, and how he or she might find a specific one useful. We have discussions of features, contexts, and pragmatic looks at usefulness. I appreciated the author's willingness to state not only how specific products could benefit, but also mention when specific products may be unsuitable for a specific project.

Databases covered are these, listed in the order in which you will find them in the book:
* PostgreSQL
* Riak
* HBase
* MongoDB
* CouchDB
* Neo4J
* Redis

You will notice that there is a nice variety in the types of databases listed. Represented are a standard relational database (PostgreSQL), key-value stores (Riak, Redis), a columnar database (HBase), some document-oriented databases (MongoDB, CouchDB), and even a graph database (Neo4J). The survey is clear, deep, and packed with useful data that makes comparing these vastly different, but often lumped together as "NoSQL" databases, easier.

If you have any reason to use or consider using anything other than a more traditional relational database, and aren't sure which one to try out of the exploding number of new options, this book will help you make sense of the field and better evaluate your options against your current needs. I recommend it.
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