Oracle NoSQL Database has been regularly featured at the conferences of the Northern California Oracle Users Group. But, at its most recent conference, the Northern California Oracle Users Group dared to play outside the Oracle sandbox with a whole day NoSQL workshop featuring three Oracle competitors: MongoDB, Couchbase, and Cassandra.

First up was a presentation by MongoDB on NoSQL modeling. Don’t confuse the value in “key/value pair” with values in the infamous “Entity Attribute Value” anti-pattern. In the NoSQL world, the value in a “key/value pair” is either a document or a blob, not an atomic value.

Next up was a presentation by Couchbase on its “Non-first-normal-form Query Language” or N1QL—pronounced Nickel to rhyme with Sequel (SQL). N1QL is a declarative query language that extends SQL for JSON.

What’s a whole-day workshop without a case study? The eBay application architects made a presentation on the Cassandra implementation at eBay and why they chose Cassandra.

Finally, there were closing remarks by the NoCOUG conference chair.

P.S. SQL was originally given the name SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language) by its creators Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce but the acronym was later shortened to SQL (Structured Query Language) because—as recounted by Donald Chamberlin in The 1995 SQL Reunion: People, Projects, and Politics—SEQUEL was a trademarked name. this means that the correct pronunciation of “SQL” is sequel, not “es-que-el.”