Book Review - NoSQL Distilled

Like many others I have a tendency of buying more books than I can read. NoSQL Distilled by Pramod J. Sadalage and Martin Fowler is one of those books I got lying around for quite some time. I don't regret at all having it picked up now.

The short book consists of two parts, one that goes in the concepts behind the technologies and one that shows some details of concrete NoSQL databases. You will learn about the different data models, data distribution using replication and sharding, consistency and the CAP theorem. The second part introduces specialities of each type of data store, how to handle schema migrations and how to choose a data store.

NoSQL distilled builds on the very useful notion of distinguishing aggregate oriented and non aggregate oriented databases. Document databases, columnar and key value stores all are aggregate oriented, in the sense that all of the data for one aggregate is stored together and can be retrieved using a single key. Relational and graph databases are aggregate ignorant because the aggregates in your application will be stored in different tables or nodes and only be combined during read or update.

The book is short and easy to read. The authors mention that they inteded to have it read during a plane flight. Though I have read some parts of it on a long distance flight I am not too sure I could really manage to consume all of the information in one session :). With a moving target like NoSQL you might think that in over five years since the publication there will be lots of outdated material in the book. But the authors managed to really extract the concepts behind the technology so most of the book is still as relevant as when it was first published. I can recommend it, definitively not only if this is your first contact with NoSQL.