marklogic

Several members of the General Networks team just returned from a great couple of days in San Francisco for MarkLogic World, the kickoff event of the 2015 MarkLogic World Tour, headed to 8 more cities in the US and around the world.  There were excellent keynotes, technical presentations and deep dive discussions about the MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database platform and lots of buzz about exciting new features included in MarkLogic 8, released earlier this year.  Some of the most talked about features include semantics, bitemporal, and native support for JSON, server-side JavaScript and node.js client API.

As impressive as the technical presentations were, what stood out most for me were the overwhelmingly passionate MarkLogic customers who touted the flexibility and speed in which they are creating and delivering applications and services to their clients.  They spoke of failing projects rescued and successfully delivered with MarkLogic, ideas that were shelved due to RDBMS limitations dusted off and turned into revenue streams and numerous Big Data challenges being solved with the platform.  They came from a variety of industries—publishing, e-commerce, entertainment, software, financial services and government agencies.  All said that enterprise features—security, ACID transactional stability, HA/DR—were critical to their organizations.

Although the problems, industries and approaches taken were diverse, there was a consistency as to why customers love the MarkLogic platform.

Speed—

MarkLogic customers are building applications in weeks and months, not in years.  By far the most common theme among the presenters was “time to value”.  More time is being spent on the front end, designing and delivering more solutions that users and customers want—in a variety of formats—since, with schema agnostic architecture, data aggregation is simpler and back end data modeling is minimal. With MarkLogic 8, developers use the full Javascript stack—JSON, server-side Javascript and node.js, taking advantage of current development skills. Enterprise features are built in, requiring less time to take a POC into full production.

Flexibility—

Customers talked about doing away with the constraints of relational technology; namely, the very complex data modeling exercises that are required in RDBM’s.  MarkLogic’s NoSQL platform allows them to combine source data in many formats, unstructured, semi-structured and structured, for a more robust solution.   One presenter talked of aggregating 100’s of databases into a central repository to then build and deliver web, mobile and desktop applications. When a new data source becomes available, as it often does, there’s no need to remodel the database in order to incorporate that data.

Reuse of Data—

Decoupling the source data from target data resulted in maximum reuse of data for MarkLogic customers. Several spoke of using MarkLogic as a Master Data Management tool, ingesting heterogeneous data from a variety of disparate data sources and re-purposing it upon request and as needed by a variety of applications.  Combining XML and JSON data with RDF triples, the semantics feature, developers are able to relate and add context to the data to provide a feature rich experience.

The customers who spoke at MarkLogic World were clearly proponents of the platform, but they admit they didn’t get there overnight.  Some words of wisdom and caution were given as well.  Much of the advice centered on the shift in thinking from RDBMS/SQL to schema agnostic data modeling that is required to fully realize the benefits of MarkLogic, or any NoSQL platform. These suggestions came in the forms of “Think differently—it’s not all rows and columns”, “Stop trying to normalize” and “Make your logical model your physical model”. Many of these customers took advantage of the free training MarkLogic provides.

The MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database platform is used by over 500 enterprise organizations today. Customers presenting at MarkLogic World included Mitchell1, LDS, ALM, Disney ABC Television, Thomson Reuters, Intel, Aetna, Broadridge Financial Solutions, John Wiley and Sons, Codifyd, and Dow Jones.  To view interviews from MarkLogic World, visit theCube.   For more information on how your organization may be able to deliver more applications faster with MarkLogic, contact General Networks Corporation, MarkLogic Solutions Partner.  Cathy Ashbaugh, cashbaugh@gennet.com