Does it make sense to deploy a physical schema onto NoSQL?

Michelle Knight

Does it make sense to deploy a physical schema onto NoSQL?

In response to a thread, Pat O'Sullivan wanted to know whether it made sense to deploy a physical schema onto NoSQL.

Here is his post:

One additional point/question on the "data modeling for NoSQL" topic  : 

One big question we keep seeing is "under what circumstances and what business use cases does it make sense to deploy models in a schema-on-write fashion onto NoSQL/Hadoop".  In other words while we know that we can technically deploy a physical schema onto NoSQL,  is that something that actually makes sense ?  Especially when you consider the associated cost of building (and maintaining) the ETL to populate the new schema.  The concerns/questions that we see popping up include :

  • If you are going to the trouble and cost with such Schema-on-Write structures, then why not do so with a target such as a high-performant column store ?
  • Is not such a schema-on-write approach counter to the schema-on-read ethos of many NoSQL/Hadoop deployments?  

It feels like this is one area where the dust is still settling a little on what is specific best practice and there seems to be a lot of different opinions from different practitioners out there. I would be interested in hearing other views that folks might have about the dos and don'ts of modeling Schema on Write on NoSQL/Hadoop. 

Michelle Knight

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