Part IV of a lightly-edited partial transcript of a panel discussion titled “Making SQL Great Again (SQL is Huuuuuge)” at YesSQL Summit 2016 organized by the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) at Oracle Corporation’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. NoCOUG is the longest-running and most-active Oracle users group in the world. An individual membership only costs $95 and entitles the member to free admission to the four consecutive quarterly NoCOUG conferences (one-day events) that follow the membership’s start date, the winter conference being the first day of YesSQL Summit. You can become a member at

The panelists were Andrew (Andy) Mendelsohn (Executive Vice-President, Database Server Technologies, Oracle), Graham Wood (Architect, Oracle), Bryn Llewellyn (Distinguished Product Manager, Oracle), Hermann Baer (Senior Director, Product Manager, Oracle), Steven Feuerstein (Architect, Oracle). The moderator was Kyle Hailey, an Oracle ACE Director and member of the OakTable Network. The complete video of the panel discussion has been published by Oracle Corporation on the Oracle Channel on YouTube.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII

[Why does Oracle Corporation sell a NoSQL DBMS?]

Andy Mendelsohn: I guess I already talked about this earlier but yes there’s currently use cases for NoSQL databases and there have been for 40 years and there will continue to be so. And so, for us, at Oracle, we want to have a complete family of data management offerings that span all use cases that customers want to use and so it made perfect sense for us to take Berkeley DB and, just like Amazon, we added a distribution layer on top of it and we have a very top-notch NoSQL product that we’re investing in quite significantly and we’re actually going to move out to the cloud this year where I think we’ll have a lot of customers using our NoSQL engine there in the cloud, and so, yes, there’s definitely a use case for NoSQL and we want to have a complete family of data management products that solve all use cases.

Kyle Hailey: Any quick examples of which use cases somebody should looking at NoSQL solutions?

Andy Mendelsohn: Well, it’s one of these things where relational databases can do everything. NoSQL does a small subset of what relational databases do and so it’s up to the developers to decide what they want to do. If they have a fairly complex application and part of that application is simple and can use a NoSQL database; well in that case you might as well just write the whole thing in Oracle SQL and be done with it; why bother making your life more complex by trying to integrate together multiple data stores and deal with security across multiple data stores but if you have a simple application that doesn’t really need integration with lots of other data stores; sure. Like the classical use case that started NoSQL at Amazon was you know “I’ve got my product catalog and people are browsing all my products. All I want to do is let people look up a product by name and find the price and information about the product.” Great use case for NoSQL. User profiles are good use cases. Here’s the user ID; give me back all the information about the user that I can use to drive my front-end. People are using it again like in fraud detection systems. You can do all the heavy lifting in a data warehouse to figure out people’s credit scores and all kinds of other attributes and then when they do the transaction you can have all that all pre-computed sitting in a NoSQL database and do quick credit checking, fraud detection.  Those are some examples; there’s lots of use cases.

Panelists introduce themselves and tell their stories.

Why are we even having this discussion? Why is it necessary to defend SQL? Are NoSQL and Hadoop temporary phenomena that will eventually fade away just like object-oriented database management systems?

The NoSQL folks claim that NoSQL is “web scale”. Are relational database management systems “web scale”? How does PL/SQL fit into the performance picture? Is PL/SQL “web scale”?

If SQL is the best language for Big Data, what explains the rise of Hadoop?

What is the Oracle Developer Advocates team doing to defend RDBMS?

What is Oracle doing to fend of NoSQL and Hadoop?

Copyright © 2016 Iggy Fernandez