NoSQL Data Modeling Techniques
NoSQL databases are often compared by various non-functional criteria, such as scalability, performance, and consistency. This aspect of NoSQL is well-studied both in practice and theory because specific non-functional properties are often the main justification for NoSQL usage and fundamental results on distributed systems like CAP theorem are well applicable to the NoSQL systems. At the same time, NoSQL data modeling is not so well studied and lacks of systematic theory like in relational databases. In this article I provide a short comparison of NoSQL system families from the data modeling point of view and digest several common modeling techniques.
To explore data modeling techniques, we have to start with some more or less systematic view of NoSQL data models that preferably reveals trends and interconnections. The following figure depicts imaginary “evolution” of the major NoSQL system families, namely, Key-Value stores, BigTable-style databases, Document databases, Full Text Search Engines, and Graph databases: