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March 2012, Vol. 9

Cloaked in secrecy, Microsoft project aims to wed SQL, NoSQL databases

When David DeWitt suggested in October an interest in contributing to a superior database management system, it seemed that a breakthrough was under way. The occasion was the Professional Association for SQL Server’s PASS Summit in Seattle, where DeWitt is a fan favorite and perennial keynote speaker. His central theme: The galaxy of data has come to feature huge swaths of unstructured data, most of which land in the world of NoSQL databases, but the SQL camp should not feel overshadowed. As a veteran SQL expert and Microsoft technical fellow, DeWitt predictably effused about the pivotal role of SQL in the handling of the two types of data. While this is not a knockdown battle for supremacy, the SQL camp can feel marginalized when discussion turns to improved management of unstructured data. “In recent years data people felt that they needed to move away from SQL to be effective,” said David Menninger, an analyst at Ventana Research in San Ramon, Calif. “However, integrating the two provides the most opportunities.” More on ...

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