NoSQL is one of the several new age database types driving cloud computing and big data and for good reasons. Created by developers for developers, MongoDB is still clear favourite amongst NoSQL, but a recent development should have more people other than engineers and developers interested in this technology and that is, Microsoft’s version, DocumentDB.
Born in the clouds and supported by the resources of Microsoft, it is also much user friendlier, easier to learn (I had to read two books on MongoDB to get started-there’s so many changes-every article on Google was out of date-try it) and above all, well documented and powerful.
Unlike relational (SQL) you still need to use a programming language like C# or Java to work with it productively. The good news for data/BI analyst is you can now query it in SQL, and that’s big news because as anyone will tell you, one of the barriers to mainstream adoption for NoSQL technology has been while you can get the data in, getting it out for analytics is not the easiest thing in the world. Well things just got a lot more easier now.
The other interesting development is MS has also released drivers for it meaning you can now hook up to DocumentDB in Tableau, Spotfire, Excel, etc as easily as connecting to SQL Server. MongoDB has something similar for Tableau, but it’s not generic and set up is more complicated.
If you’ve worked with any REST APIs recently, you’ll realise this looks like the way things will be from now so get used to JSON and start getting used to NoSQL.