Past Meetup

Celebrate Pi Day with pie and reflect on NoSQL and Big Data

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Come celebrate international Pi Day ( with pie after work and reflect on NoSQL and Big Data. Our guest speaker Iggy Fernandez ( will deliver a talk titled “Soul-searching for the relational camp: Why NoSQL and Big Data have momentum.” Pie will be served! Due to limited seating, please register only if you are certain to attend.

Many who have spent their entire careers working with relational database management systems find it difficult to comprehend the complete rejection of relational theory by the NoSQL and Big Data movements. But the new mousetrap gains popularity only because it is does something better than the mousetraps that came before it. NoSQL and Big Data technologies would not have gained popularity if they did not excel at certain tasks which relational implementations cannot handle well. For example, NoSQL key-value stores excel at the speedy serialization ( and deserialization of data structures such as shopping carts. As another example, relational implementations are incompatible with the “schemaless (” approach. However, the abandonment of relational principles by NoSQL and Big Data vendors has exacted a terrible price. To quote a book on NoSQL, “As ironic as it may sound, the biggest missing piece in NoSQL is something like SQL.”

We cannot avoid the inconvenient truth that the market needs technologies that can handle the new problems. Instead of pretending that the new problems do not exist, the relational movement needs to do some serious soul-searching. In this talk, Iggy will explain that the perceived deficiencies of relational technology are actually a result of deliberate choices made by the relational movement in its early years. We will conclude that—with a single notable exception—all the new problems could have been handled within the framework of relational technology. During the talk, Iggy will ask and answer important questions such as “What’s so sacred about relational anyway?” “Does one size fit all?” and “What’s the best tool for the job?”

Iggy Fernandez is a specialist in Oracle database performance and SQL performance. He is the author of Beginning Oracle Database 11 ( ( ( [Apress, 2009], past president of the Northern California Oracle Users Group, editor of the NoCOUG Journal (, and the organizer of the International NoCOUG SQL Challenge (

Due to limited seating, please register only if you are certain to attend!