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Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement Paperback – May 21 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (May 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356920
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Indrani Gorti on Aug. 27 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book written in an intuitive fashion. The book gives you all that is required for a beginner in NoSQL. I am enjoying reading it and learning a whole lot of new stuff that would have otherwise taken a lot of time. This book presents everything about the a whole lot of imp NoSQL databases, without missing on the nuances.
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By Alaa on June 8 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helps me in my research as I want to work on several nosql database. It has direct tips for configuration and other basic information. I recommend this book for any one who wants to learn a nosql database. The only disadvantage for me is not mentioning the CAP theorem for each kind
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Smart but easy to read. June 24 2012
By Isaac Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually when I read technical books I feel one of the following:
A. Puzzled that such a book was made since doing a google search is far faster and easier.
B. Recognize that while the book likely makes some great points, the writing only is understandable if you already deeply understand the subject.
C. This must be one of those "guide for idiots" books since reading the book only shows some simple basics you would have figured if you just sat down and used the thing for 5 minutes.
But every once in awhile there is a book that is easy to read, doesn't treat me like an idiot, and actually explains the why and just not the what of the subject matter. When I come across such books, I carry them around, tell friends about them, and frequently re-read the relevant parts when I am coding up something that makes use of the subject matter. This is one of those books.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great information, but distracting at times Oct. 2 2012
By Justin Bramley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a lot of good information in here and my eyes have really been opened to the world of NoSQL database solutions and how they compare to the RDBMS world with which I'm much more familiar. The chapters are laid out in a way to show off a lot of the great features, putting you on your feet fast and enabling you to see some of the strengths and weaknesses of the database solutions.

I have two gripes with the book, however. One is that at times, the authors seem to talk more about supporting technologies than the databases themselves. It's nice to see how you can use a SAX-based XML parser with some programming language to load data into the database, but other than the interface to the database itself, it's not wholly relevant to the core topic at hand.

My second gripe is that sometimes the examples feel overly contrived. In the chapter on Riak, for instance there's a comparison of getting counts by style from the database. The method shown for the RDBMS style is something that even if you had only read the chapter on PostgreSQL, you'd know was a terrible way for getting the information. There are a couple of other examples in the book where I found myself saying either, "well, yeah, but nobody in their right mind would actually do it that way," or "OK, that's nice, but how would this work for a real problem?" All that being said, this problem is endemic to introductory material in general and so, while frustrated that it is continued in this book, I don't think it detracts from the book anymore than it detracts from any other introductory reading.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Databases for Computational Journalism - Start Here June 13 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To do computational journalism, at least *some* data must be collected, stored, explored, analyzed, cleaned, managed and "governed." In the past few years, the "traditional" tools for doing this, called relational database management systems (RDBMS), have been supplemented by a new class of tools broadly known as "NoSQL" databases. The name NoSQL comes from the most widely used language for dealing with a traditional RDBMS, SQL.

The NoSQL field is rapidly evolving, but enough knowledge exists to fill several books. The best overview of databases for computational journalists I've found so far comes from Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement.

I've been working through the book, which has been available for a few months in beta from the publisher in the course of collecting the tools for Data Journalism Developer Studio 2012LX and Computational Journalism Server. Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement covers, in order:

* PostgreSQL, a traditional RDBMS,
* Riak, a key-value database
* HBase, a columnar database
* MongoDB, a document-oriented database
* CouchDB, a document-oriented database,
* Neo4j, a graph-oriented database, and
* Redis, a key-value database / data structure server.

All of these databases are open source, and they're all supported by either a corporate entity, a non-profit foundation, or some combination of the two. The title really should have been "Seven Databases in Seven Weekends"; each database is covered in three-day hands-on sessions and could easily be done as a series of weekend projects. The book is hands-on - you'll build things with these databases, including a Node.js application combining Redis, CouchDB and Neo4j into an application that provides a "band information service."

Appendix A contains a pair of tables that give an overview of the distinguishing characteristics of the seven databases. As the authors put it, "Although the tables are not a replacement for a true understanding, they should provide you with an at-a-glance sense of what each database is capable of, where it falls short, and how it fits into the modern database landscape."

I believe all of these databases have a place in modern computational journalism, as do the other two well-known open source RDBMS tools, MySQL and SQLite. In particular, for spatial / mapping projects, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB and CouchDB have robust geographic information systems capabilities either built in or available as add-ons.

Riak, HBase, MongoDB and CouchDB all support "big data" applications implemented via MapReduce. MongoDB and CouchDB both store their documents as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) objects, which is the "native" format for Twitter data. Neo4j, as a graph database, is perfect for storing data about relationships, such as the interconnections between corporate executives and legislators. And because of its speed, Redis can serve as high-speed pipelines between other components in almost any application architecture.

I think NoSQL databases will be the core of computational journalism for the next few years. The RDBMS isn't going away, of course, but if you limit yourself to "SQL thinking" or even "object-relational models" and "model-view-controller" architectures, there will be applications you can't build. This book will get you up to speed as fast as you're willing to go.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great overview of different databases Jan. 19 2013
By B. Ikehara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Instead of getting caught up with the details of each database, this book provides insight into how the database works. It is great for finding the best database to use with a certain project. Definitely learned a good overview of the databases, but I will need to get a database-specific book to learn more of the details.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent survey for comparison and evaluation against your needs Aug. 4 2012
By M. Helmke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My goal in reading this book was to get a better sense of the landscape, to learn the basics of several of the new databases out that have been receiving the lion's share of the buzz in the computer press. The book did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded my expectations.

All a reader absolutely must know before reading this book is what a database is, but after saying that, I will follow with a quick disclaimer that this is not intended for newbies. The book is written for experienced developers, people who understand software, who know their concepts and how to apply them, but who are interested in the latest developments. The book does not cover things like installation or systems/database administration. Instead, it gives information that surveys the strengths and weaknesses of the new databases to help the experienced developer better understand when, why, and how he or she might find a specific one useful. We have discussions of features, contexts, and pragmatic looks at usefulness. I appreciated the author's willingness to state not only how specific products could benefit, but also mention when specific products may be unsuitable for a specific project.

Databases covered are these, listed in the order in which you will find them in the book:
* PostgreSQL
* Riak
* HBase
* MongoDB
* CouchDB
* Neo4J
* Redis

You will notice that there is a nice variety in the types of databases listed. Represented are a standard relational database (PostgreSQL), key-value stores (Riak, Redis), a columnar database (HBase), some document-oriented databases (MongoDB, CouchDB), and even a graph database (Neo4J). The survey is clear, deep, and packed with useful data that makes comparing these vastly different, but often lumped together as "NoSQL" databases, easier.

If you have any reason to use or consider using anything other than a more traditional relational database, and aren't sure which one to try out of the exploding number of new options, this book will help you make sense of the field and better evaluate your options against your current needs. I recommend it.

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