Posts Tagged ‘Relational’

How do Column Stores Work?

July 4, 2012 9 comments

In this blog, I will provide you with some basic information about column stores. Nothing I am writing here is vendor specific IP, but merely taken from the papers published throughout history. One of the best papers that serves as an introduction is by Stonebraker:

    The idea is older than that though, with the first papers published in the 1970’ies.

Shamefully standing on the shoulders of giants, I will walk you through a simple example which illustrate one of the key principles of column stores: Run Length Encoding (RLE).

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Implementing Message Queues in Relational Databases

May 25, 2012 18 comments

At the last SQL Bits X I held the FusionIO fireside chat during the launch party. During this presentation, I demonstrated how it is possible to build a table structure inside a relational engine that will act is a message queue and deliver nearly 100K messages/second.

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Why You Need to Stop Worrying about UPDATE Statements

April 27, 2012 4 comments

There seems to be a myth perpetuated out there in the database community that UPDATE statements are somehow “bad” and should be avoided in data warehouses.

Let us have a look at the facts for a moment and weigh up if this myth has any merit.

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Why Surrogate Keys are not Good Keys

October 22, 2011 33 comments

History tracking in warehouses is a controversial discipline. I this post, I will begin to unravel some of the apparent complexities by taking apart the history tracking problem, piece by piece.

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Good keys, what are they like?

May 13, 2011 28 comments

A central value add of data warehouses is their ability to restore the sanity that comes from using good keys. Taking a model-agnostic view of keys, they refer to “something” that is uniquely identifiable. Depending on what you are modeling, those “somethings” have different names, for example: entities, rows, tuples, cells, members, documents, attributes, object instances, and relations between the any of the latter. Because this article is about relational databases and because I don’t want to move up to the “logical” level with you (as I promised before), I will use the term: “row” as the “something” that a key refers to, and the term “column” as the data structure that implements the key.

Moving on, the definition of a “good key” is a column that has the following properties:

  1. It forced to be unique
  2. It is small
  3. It is an integer
  4. Once assigned to a row, it never changes
  5. Even if deleted, it will never be re-used to refer to a new row
  6. It is a single column
  7. It is stupid
  8. It is not intended as being remembered by users

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