Breaking into the NoSQL Conversation

Breaking into the NoSQL Conversation by Rob Gonzalez.

Semantic Web Community: I’m disappointed in us! Or at least in our group marketing prowess. We have been failing to capitalize on two major trends that everyone has been talking about and that are directly addressable by Semantic Web technologies! For shame.

I’m talking of course about Big Data and NoSQL. Given that I’ve already given my take on how Semantic Web technology can help with the Big Data problem on, this time around I’ll tackle NoSQL and the Semantic Web.

After all, we gave up SQL more than a decade ago. We should be part of the discussion. Heck, even the XQuery guys got in on the action early!

(much content omitted, read at your leisure)

AllegroGraph, Virtuoso, and Systap can all scale, and can all shard like Mongo. We have more mature, feature rich, and robust APIs via Sesame and others to interact with the data in these stores. So why aren’t we in the conversation? Is there something really obvious that I’m missing?

Let’s make it happen. For more than a decade our community has had a vision for how to build a better web. In the past, traditional tools and inertia have kept developers from trying new databases. Today, there are no rules. It’s high time we stepped it up. On the web we can compete with MongoDB directly on those use cases. In the enterprise we can combine the best of SQL and NoSQL for a new class of flexible, robust data management tools. The conversation should not continue to move so quickly without our voice.

I hate to disappoint but the reason the conversation is moving so quickly is the absence of the Semantic Web voice.

Consider my post earlier today about the new hardware/software release by Cray, A Computer More Powerful Than Watson. The release refers to RDF as a “graph format.”

With good reason. The uRIKA system doesn’t use RDF for reasoning at all. It materializes all the implied nodes and searches the materialized graph. Impressive numbers but reasoning it isn’t.

Inertia did not stop developers from trying new databases. New databases that met no viable (commercially that is) use cases went unused. What’s so hard to understand about that?

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