Shop Talk: 2022-01-31

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Tracy Boggiano
  • Mike Chrestensen

Notes: Questions and Topics

Upcoming Conferences

Our first topic of the night hit on two upcoming conferences. First is SQLbits, which is coming up March 8-12. Registration is open right now and there are in-person and virtual options available. Note that this is a paid conference. Tracy will be there.

Second, DevIntersection, which includes the SQL Server & Azure SQL Conference, has a $100 discount if you use the code AZUREDC. This is also a paid conference and is in-person. I will be there.

Columnstore and Rowstore

Mike came up with the theme for tonight’s episode, which is a discussion of columnstore databases. The context of this comes from a statement in 2013 that columnstore databases are 10-50 times faster than relational databases and that traditional relational databases would disappear in favor of columnstore databases.

In all fairness to the person who made the statement, columnstore databases are considerably faster for analytical queries than traditional rowstore indexing. What happened in reality, though, is that traditional relational databases gained columnstore capabilities, such as clustered columnstore indexes in SQL Server. As a result, we saw another instance of a new technology challenging the existing relational model and leading to a synthesis of the new technology into the existing paradigm.

As a quick side note, no matter how transformational or interesting your technology, it’s a bad bet to say that relational databases are going away. The most generous I can be here is saying that if you hang your hat on “traditional” you might win the technical point—technologies like SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL changed and incorporated columnstore capabilities. On the broader point, we’re nearly a decade later and relational databases are 7 of the top 10 on DB-Engines.

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