March 10, 2014

Hector Castro is one of the Technical Evangelists here at Basho. Over the past few months, he has been presenting at various meetups and conferences about how to approach data modeling in Riak with his talk, “Throw Some Keys On It.” This talk sets the stage by discussing the more familiar relational database management systems (RDBMS) and some of its key features, including relationships, transactions, schemas, and Structured Query Language (SQL).

However, RDBMS also come with some tradeoffs and most applications don’t require all of its features. In addition, many applications now have availability, scalability, and latency requirements that negate many of the RDBMS benefits. That’s where key/value stores (like Riak) come in. Key/value data stores have a number of benefits compared to relational databases – including schemaless design, single-access reads, ability to handle write-heavy workloads, scalability, and a simple interface. While they are becoming increasingly more popular, many developers still think about data modeling from a relational mindset.

Using the Uber mobile application as an example, this talk helps developers think about decomposing more complex problems into smaller, simpler key/value pairs.

Videos of this talk will be available shortly but in the meantime, slides from this talk can be found below.

For more examples of key/value users, check out the Riak Users Page. For additional information about data modeling, visit our Docs or reach out to the Riak Mailing List.