One of the more striking developments in the application database space in recent years has been the rise of unstructured databases. Aggregated under the heading “NoSQL” (not an ideal name it must be said), these unstructured database management systems don’t use SQL as their query language and are unhindered by a requirement for fixed table schemas. As such they lend themselves to storing large volumes of data that doesn’t follow any rigid structure pattern – a common requirement for modern applications.

A recent survey published by CouchBase, a NoSQL vendor, gives some clarity to the actual market adoption of NoSQL solutions. CouchBase gathered responses from 1300 individuals or organizations and the majority indicated that the increased flexibility and removal of the requirement for rigid schemas are a pressing driver for NoSQL adoption.

Some key data points from the survey include;

  • Nearly half of the respondents indicated they have funded NoSQL projects in the first half of this year
  • In companies with more than 250 developers, nearly 70% will fund NoSQL projects over the course of 2012.
  • 49% cited rigid schemas as the primary driver for their migration to NoSQL
  • 40% overall say that NoSQL is very important or critical to their daily operations


Some interesting use cases or NoSQL came out of the survey, and this speaks to some strong areas of developemtn. Some key use ases respondents were using NoSQL for included;

  • Real-time tracking and segmentation of users for ad targeting
  • Disaster recovery
  • Inventory tracking
  • Manufacturing automation
  • Insurance underwriting
  • Multi-call center operations (with replication of production data)
  • Twitter stream analysis

NoSQL really lends itself to some commonly occurring contemporary use cases – it’s going to be interesting to see the relative split between the use of NoSQL and relational databases over time.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Gives clarity about actual market adoption???

    Are you kidding?

    Without some detail about the candidate selection methodolgy it provides nothing of the sort. Given the numbers I suspect its a self selecting sample of predominantly NoSQL users.

    Sorry Ben; while the use cases given may be of some interest it provides no useful information about actual market usage whatsoever.

    • Chris – these things are always self-referential. What is interesting 9for me at least) is to see the different areas with strong NoSQL growth – even if it’s self referntial it’s also interesting… My 2 cents

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