Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Provide SQL Access to NoSQL Type Data using Multi-Record Type


The database market is innovating rapidly with advancements in web access, mobile devices, reporting and analytics packages, and more. Yet, a surprising number of systems are still unable to fully participate in these achievements because their data is not organized in a relational manner. Without an efficient way to access data through relational APIs (e.g., SQL, ODBC, JDBC, PHP, ADO.NET, etc.), many systems cannot efficiently employ these new innovations.

This article will present a solution to one particular challenge: systems that mix different record layouts in the same file and then use a field to tell the application how to interpret each record. If you were trained in modern relational database techniques, this may sound strange to you. You were taught to follow a rigid schema, normalizing data by dividing it into separate tables. Business software has not always been written that way. There was a point in the not too distant past when the number of available file handles was limited at the system level. For one example, recall the days of DOS when one was limited to 20 file handles, and stdin, stderr, stdout, etc., consumed some of them.

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