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Proof you do not need SQL anymore...

How well do you know your data?

Join Boston PHP and Chhean Saur for an exciting and riveting presentation on a big claim that you really don't need SQL anymore, and we will prove it...

SQL is defined as "Structured Query Language", but is your data really that well structured? For example, an address field doesn't always have a city and state. An international address can have province, town, or district as well. How should we store this in a database? (It seems inefficient to have a column just for province to be empty for all U.S. addresses). 

Analytics and business intelligence are growing in importance to help make better decisions. How easy is it to do the following queries for your business:

  • E-Commerce: 
    A new feature has been added to product X. Find all customers that have NOT purchased product X within the last 6 months that have at least seen product X so we can notify them of a new feature. How many new customers bought the product as a result of the new feature?
  • Real Estate:
    Show me all emails and phone call logs that mention house X and the realtors that have shown the property within the last 3 months for every 10k in price change.
  • Education:
    How many more students did better on the exam after restructuring the lesson within more/less content for each teacher?
  • Other:
    There are other complex queries in Travel, Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, etc...

This presentation will talk about the NoSQL movement and how it helps to re-examine our data. We'll look at strengths and weaknesses of different databases like MySQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Riak. We'll also talk about CAP theorem to help you make the best decision possible when selecting a database.

Spread the word 
Our hashtag is #bostonphp.

6:00 - 7:00 : Doors open, Intro to FirePHP
7:00 - 8:45 : Main Presentation   
8:45 - 9:00 : Questions  
9:00 - ???? : Beers somewhere?

Join or login to comment.

  • David D.

    The speaker was articulate and knew his material well and was also well prepared. The presentation demonstrated some of the short falls of structured data that we all have run into and then presented ideas how to think of your data differently. Good intriduction to the topic of unstructed data. A Little short on some of the practical real world implementations of unstructured data but to be fair I don't think that was the idea of the presentation.

    October 19, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I liked the talk but I wish we'd gone into more specifics/practical examples. This was a general overview of the advantages and disadvantages of relational vs. nonrelational databases; I would have liked to see the syntax of a couple other languages; the "look and feel," if you will. Nice talk, otherwise! Engaging and well paced.

    October 13, 2011

  • Dave F.

    Fascinating talk offering up a lot of options for alternatives to SQL data structuring. I was particularly impressed with the focus on the importance of knowing your data - too often I've seen presentations that cover all aspects of a particular technology, but barely bother to delve into the philosophy *behind* that technology. This was a great presentation that gives me a lot to think about and a lot to explore and experiment with.

    October 13, 2011

  • Marty

    It was very good. Certainly food for thought and nice to learn about nosql db's

    October 13, 2011

  • Stephen L.

    One of the best speakers at Boston PHP. Clearly and concisely presented the pros/cons and most importantly provided a birds eye view of data.

    October 13, 2011

  • Tim p.

    good presentation, would have been nice to have more demonstration of the actual syntax of the queries in the various prominent NoSQL frameworks (e.g.,mongoDB), more specific examples rather than abstraction,

    October 13, 2011

  • Gabe G

    Great presentation. Wish there was more pizza.

    October 13, 2011

  • Jamie C

    I think they left it as an exercise for the reader. I just Googled Champions Kendall Square to find the bar.

    October 13, 2011

  • Lance P.

    You should probably figure out what the bar we go to is at.

    October 12, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I looked at node.js a while back, and it seems to be getting increasingly impressive. It was pretty over my head back then, but I definitely plan on revisiting it at some point. Does it have its own database functionality built into it?

    October 5, 2011

  • Patrick P.

    Chhean, will you be addressing Google's BigTable as well?

    October 5, 2011

  • Michael B.

    Check out node.js, you will love this approach!

    October 4, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm very interested to hear about the capacity of something like MongoDB or CouchDB to scale well. Can they work efficiently on a site with 100,000 users? I love JS, so I'd love to be able to program my backend in JS as well.

    October 4, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it even possible to handle billing in a noSQL database, and if so would love that part of the presentation go over how it is possible.

    October 4, 2011

  • Chris R.

    Use Plug to connect with relevant people before, during and after the event! Plug connects you with people you should meet and gives you an easy way to get event info, follow the event conversation and share event happenings on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. Visit to sign up and download Plug mobile apps.

    May 17, 2011

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