Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MySQL, Oracle and NoSQL: In the grand scheme...

...NoSQL is just larger than a fly's dropping, and MySQL and Oracle are more alike than either of their respective fanboys would like to admit.

Courtesy of Google trends:

I guess I won't be changing my career just yet.

UPDATE: I tried a few terms for "Microsoft SQL Server" before posting (SQL Server, MS SQL) but found none that came up with what I felt like was a realistic volume (they are all much, much lower than I expected). @MarkGStacey suggested trying "SQL 2008", "SQL 2005" and "SQL 2000", and those return much better results indeed (though still much lower than MySQL or Oracle). Anyway - I'd love to have some way of bunching up all those terms and have Google Trends show them as one trend, but I haven't figured out a way to do that. If you know how, please drop a line at let me know.

I'll adjust the blog if I find a more satisfactory solution.


Mark Leith said...

Use Google Insights instead :)


Jeff Gortatowsky said...

Would it be more prudent to search on Cassandra or CouchDB or MongoDB or Hbase etc.? Plus if you do, and you switch to relative growth, you'll see it's growing much faster than Oracle or MySQL

So while you may not want to quit your job today... you may want to study the CD industry or the photographic film industry. They too were in denial of disruptive technologies.

hingo said...

So two SQL databases are more alike than NoSQL databases? Who would have thought.

If you ask me, the whole "Oracle and MySQL are different" thing was just FUDded up last year, and the reason for that FUD is now gone, so I think we can just go back to the place where they're both RDBMSs, one open source, one not.

rpbouman said...

@Mark: Good tip, very useful. Thanks!

@Jeff: Cassandra is not a very good search term, for obvious reasons - this is of course not Cassandra's fault, but a limitation of the trends tool (which -to the best of my knowledge- does not offer any feature to add context to the search). However, when I try with CouchDB and MongoDB (you can punch in those values yourself too if you like) there is just less volume. So I don't think NoSQL was that bad a term in this context.

Your point regarding the relative growth is a good one, and confirms the fact there is a lot of buzz surrounding the NoSQL products. But the point of my post was to step away from the buzz for a while and put things in perspective.

Your suggestion that I am in denial of disruptive technologies is perhaps understandable, but incorrect. I actively follow the database field, and I am very interested in hearing about how the various NoSQL solutions are replacing relational databases in some areas, and I wouldn't hesitate to try it myself should I have an acute need for it. Because these stories are exciting and new stories, they tend to get the spotlight and that's fine.

I'm just saying, we needn't lose sight of the big picture (which is pretty much completely dominated by the RDBMS-es of this world).

@hingo: Henrik is that you? I am sure your first remark is meant to be ironic, but really - in the light of the recent buzz about NoSQL solutions replacing MySQL, the urge to compare is I think not that far-fetched, and unlike you I don't think it is clear beforehand that the Oracle and MySQL trends appear to be so similar.

Should there be any doubt regarding my opinion, I do think MySQL and Oracle are very different products. My remark in this post that Oracle and MySQL are alike refers only to the trend shown in the graph. I think everybody will agree the similarity in the curves is striking.

Quassnoi said...

I would not rely on these data representing actual products popularity among the developers.

Oracle is a transnational software giant, employing 100k+ people all over the world, ranked 105 by Fortune in 2009 (Google is ranked 102, BTW). It it searched for by way too many people that are far from database development.

I think this query, returning the ratio of questions on http://stackoverflow.com, would represent the popularity of the systems more correctly:


rpbouman said...

@Quassnoi: thanks for the link to the stackoverflow statistics! I appreciate it a lot :)

This blogpost is kind of atypical for me - it was meant to be only half-serious, half tongue-in-cheeck. I realize Google search results are a very broad metric, and almost always inappropriate since it lacks context. For example, the Oracle keyword is matched for both the database vendor as well as for mythological clairvoyants.

Anyway - I don't think too much of it myself - I probably shouldn't use this blog to blurt posts of this nature.

Anyway, thanks again! I appreciate the reply.

kind regards,


Jan Aertsen said...

Nice post Roland. It gave me the idea to compare kettle (PDI) to a few of the commercial data integration tools.


Thanks for the great idea !

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