Has SkySQL MariaDB pulled off the NoSQL + SQL combo challenge?

There is something of a war of words (and code) going on between the NoSQL and SQL database camps.

Some of it is merely flack; both approaches have their benefits.

SQL databases are marked out for their predefined schema (the structure of the database that describes its construction and basic ‘integrity constraints’), whereas NoSQL databases are built with dynamic schema for unstructured data.

Going further — lightweight table-based SQL databases exhibit vertical scalability, whereas your common or garden document (or graph, or wide-column store) based NoSQL databases exhibit horizontal scalability.

NoSQL has proved popular with ‘modern’ web centric companies, but less popular in ‘conservative’ industries such as banking and manufacturing where SQL reigns.

You can guess the next part

In the meantime then, the debate goes on and (you can guess this next part) the SQL specialists will tell us they are more agile and the NoSQL specialists will tell us they are good and robust

With input from engineering teams at Red Hat and Google, SkySQL has just released its latest MariaDB Enterprise product range, based on the new MariaDB 10 code.

This, claims the company, means that the product combines NoSQL with SQL technology together.

MariaDB Enterprise 2 and MariaDB Enterprise Cluster 2 editions expand SkySQL’s vision of a high performance SQL platform suited to the complex web-scale challenges.

The big trade off

SkySQL CEO Patrik Sallner explains the trade off here:

“SQL databases like MariaDB remain crucial to almost every enterprise because they can reliably convert real-world business transactions into grouped multi-step operations for consistent data manipulation. NoSQL solutions are simple to use and so popular with developers but they lack business critical features, like ensuring data consistency. Until now, enterprises have been forced to select robust SQL databases for some data loads and less mature solutions from NoSQL vendors for others, leading to integration and support issues.”

Sallner’s firm claims to have combined the best of both approaches.

Data-centric developers want the assurance of features that ensure data consistency at all times with the agility of handling very large, unstructured NoSQL datasets.

Could this be it?

“The availability of an enterprise-grade SQL database platform with NoSQL interoperability is a game charger for developers building serious revenue-generating applications and DBAs that run large, complex data environments,” said the company, in a press statememt.

NOTE: The announcement of these new commercial products coincides with the release of the open source database server MariaDB 10 — and SkySQL is the biggest contributor to the MariaDB project, both in terms of resourcing and code.

So does it work?

Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens has said that Red Hat has included MariaDB in its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta.

SkySQL insists upon the assertion that no other SQL database solution can reliably deal with the latest wave of applications (which contain massive amounts of users and support data) across today’s mix of mobile apps, gaming and e-commerce platforms.

The case is stated; at length the truth will out.