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The Holy Grail (of Databases)

Eric Redmond (Nike)
Location: Ballroom III
Average rating: ****.
(4.16, 19 ratings)

Choosing a data storage engine is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be painful if you know the landscape. We’ll look at several DBMSs (and a few you’ve never heard of), compare and contrast them based on use-cases, and how to plug each into Rails (even running together!).

Authoring the book “Seven Databases in Seven Weeks” has opened up a whole world of database alternatives that I never before seriously considered. It’s an important decision to be made by research, not buzzwords – and we’ve sifted through them so you don’t have to. At the very least we can settle the Mongo v. Couch debate (hint: they’re both awesome).

This talk will include:

  • A 30,000 foot view of the current database ecosystem.
  • How to choose the correct database for a project (the CAP theorem).
  • Thoughts by database project leaders.
  • How they can play nicely in Rails 3 (separate or together), and what drivers to use.

Among the DBMSs we’ll spy are: mySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, memcached, Riak, Cassandra, HBase, MongoDB, CouchDB, Neo4J, OrientDB, and others time permitting.

Photo of Eric Redmond

Eric Redmond


Eric Redmond has been involved the software industry and open source technologies for over a decade, beginning at Purdue University with a particular interest in high dimensional database indexing. After graduation, he began working with fortune 500 companies then, government and startups as a lead engineer, senior software architect, build engineer, database administrator, and freelance code monkey. He was co-author/contributor of two Java books (“Maven: The Definitive Guide” and “Java Power Tools”, O’Reilly), a new book “Seven Databases in Seven Weeks” (Pragmatic), a few articles, speaker, and active organizer/occupant of several technology groups. He currently resides in Portland with wife Noelle, works at a wireless management company called Mobi, founded Inviite.com, takes photos and makes things out of glass.

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Philippe Creux
05/19/2011 8:13am EDT

Good introduction to a wide range of dbs. It’s amazing to see you talk + code at the same time. :)

Picture of Eric Redmond
Eric Redmond
05/18/2011 7:29am EDT

I should mention, the example project(s) is here, along with the slides github.com/coderoshi/holy-g...

Picture of Wesley Gamble
Wesley Gamble
05/18/2011 7:27am EDT

This was a good survey of different DBs capabilities.