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NoSQL for Mere Mortals

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NoSQL for Mere Mortals


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  • Explains NoSQL technology in plain English, with plenty of examples using top NoSQL databases: MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis, and Neo4j
  • Shows when to use NoSQL databases, how to choose the right platform, how to design high performance applications, and how to plan for maintenance and management
  • Reinforces core concepts as students build basic, functioning applications


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 552
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-402321-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-402321-2

The Easy, Common-Sense Guide to Solving Real Problems with NoSQL

The Mere Mortals® tutorials have earned worldwide praise as the clearest, simplest way to master essential database technologies. Now, there’s one for today’s exciting new NoSQL databases. NoSQL for Mere Mortals guides you through solving real problems with NoSQL and achieving unprecedented scalability, cost efficiency, flexibility, and availability.

Drawing on 20+ years of cutting-edge database experience, Dan Sullivan explains the advantages, use cases, and terminology associated with all four main categories of NoSQL databases: key-value, document, column family, and graph databases. For each, he introduces pragmatic best practices for building high-value applications. Through step-by-step examples, you’ll discover how to choose the right database for each task, and use it the right way.

Coverage includes

--Getting started: What NoSQL databases are, how they differ from relational databases, when to use them, and when not to Data management principles and design criteria: Essential knowledge for creating any database solution, NoSQL or relational

--Key-value databases: Gaining more utility from data structures

--Document databases: Schemaless databases, normalization and denormalization, mutable documents, indexing, and design patterns

--Column family databases: Google’s BigTable design, table design, indexing, partitioning, and Big Data

Graph databases: Graph/network modeling, design tips, query methods, and traps to avoid

Whether you’re a database developer, data modeler, database user, or student, learning NoSQL can open up immense new opportunities. As thousands of database professionals already know,  For Mere Mortals is the fastest, easiest route to mastery.



These files contain a summary document, a directory with example scripts, and a directory with links to guides and tutorials on 4 popular NoSQL databases. Download files here.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

NoSQL for Mere Mortals: Designing for Document Databases

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 8 and Index)

Table of Contents

Preface xxi

Introduction xxv


Chapter 1 Different Databases for Different Requirements 3

Relational Database Design 4

    E-commerce Application 5

Early Database Management Systems 6

    Flat File Data Management Systems 7

        Organization of Flat File Data Management Systems 7

        Random Access of Data 9

        Limitations of Flat File Data Management Systems 9

    Hierarchical Data Model Systems 12

        Organization of Hierarchical Data Management Systems 12

        Limitations of Hierarchical Data Management Systems 14

    Network Data Management Systems 14

        Organization of Network Data Management Systems 15

        Limitations of Network Data Management Systems 17

    Summary of Early Database Management Systems 17

The Relational Database Revolution 19

    Relational Database Management Systems 19

        Organization of Relational Database Management Systems 20

        Organization of Applications Using Relational Database Management Systems 26

        Limitations of Relational Databases 27

Motivations for Not Just/No SQL (NoSQL) Databases 29

    Scalability 29

    Cost 31

    Flexibility 31

    Availability 32

Summary 34

Case Study 35

Review Questions 36

References 37

Bibliography 37

Chapter 2 Variety of NoSQL Databases 39

Data Management with Distributed Databases 41

    Store Data Persistently 41

    Maintain Data Consistency 42

    Ensure Data Availability 44

        Consistency of Database Transactions 47

        Availability and Consistency in Distributed Databases 48

    Balancing Response Times, Consistency, and Durability 49

    Consistency, Availability, and Partitioning: The CAP Theorem 51

ACID and BASE 54

    ACID: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability 54

    BASE: Basically Available, Soft State, Eventually Consistent 56

    Types of Eventual Consistency 57

        Casual Consistency 57



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