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Couchbase: Battling MongoDB for JSON-Based NoSQL Mind Share in the Enterprise

An Intellyx Brain Candy Brief

The diverse and confusing NoSQL (‘not only SQL’) database marketplace offers many different types of data stores that serve many different purposes. However, within the document-based store segment, two open source, JSON-centric players have been battling for mind share: Couchbase and MongoDB.

MongoDB pulled ahead early – but this race is a marathon, and Couchbase has its eye on the enterprise space, a long-term strategy. Couchbase claims better performance, but performance alone is a poor differentiator, as the award for true performance leader could easily go back and forth as each vendor improves its offering in turn.

Where Couchbase has carved out a defensible niche is with its N1QL query language (pronounced ‘Nickel’). Unlike MongoDB’s JavaScript-based query capabilities, N1QL is based on SQL – and in fact, N1QL queries are typically identical to the SQL equivalents. In addition, by leveraging N1QL, Couchbase supports JOINs, which MongoDB does not.

Both JavaScript and SQL enjoy wide enterprise support, so for many developers, the choice of query language is one of personal preference. For enterprise database shops, however, SQL has long held the position as predominant query language, giving Couchbase an edge in those shops. When those shops need JOINs, furthermore, Couchbase pulls ahead of MongoDB.

Copyright © Intellyx LLC. Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. To be considered for a Brain Candy article, email us at [email protected].

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

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