Alex Kodat wrote a good post on TDWI entitled “Can Big Data and SQL Get Along?” He explains a bit about the background of the relational model and the SQL language. He then goes on to explain how “SQL makes it possible for applications to access data in different databases with little or no database-specific code”. This is very important to understand in the context of “business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) tools, most of which can access data from a wide variety of back-end databases”. The bottom line is that products like Excel, Tableau, QlikView, BusinessObjects, MicroStrategy, Cognos, etc. all use SQL to talk to the underlying database, no matter what it is.
The concluding paragraph of Alex’s post is a very good summary of what we at Simba are seeing: “Given that BI/BA tools will likely be working with tabular representations of data for a long time to come, and given that the question of which language is to be used for accessing tabular data is pretty much a settled issue, it’s likely that BI/BA tools will be using SQL for the foreseeable future. This means that NoSQL databases will either have to provide SQL access to their data for BI/BA tools or depend on front ends to accomplish that. Indeed, this is already happening: the growth of Cassandra, MongoDB, HBase, or Hadoop, JDBC, and ODBC drivers is proof that SQL access to non-relational sources is proliferating. The growing realization, even among the most ardent NoSQL enthusiasts, that SQL access is critical (even to NoSQL databases) has led to the coining of the backronym NOSQL, meaning not ‘No SQL’ but ‘Not Only SQL.'”
Simba has been the leader in providing database connectivity software for over 2 decades. We were the first to realize the need for SQL as well as ODBC and JDBC drivers for all the new Big Data engines. We are the only company that has a full suite of ODBC and JDBC drivers for Hadoop – Hive and HBase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Google BigQuery and Facebook Presto.