FoundationDB adds SQL personality to its database

Although organizations are exploring No-SQL and Big Data databases, many would like to access these data stores using a SQL interface. FoundationDB is now offering a SQL "personality" for their key-value store database.

During my last discussion with FoundationDB's Dave Rosenthal and Ori Hernstadt, they mentioned that the company was poised to announce a SQL layer, or "personality module", designed to allow developers already familiar with SQL to easily use FoundationDB for transaction-oriented or big data applications. (See " FoundationDB: Back to the future with key-value store " for more information on FoundationDB and key-value stores.)

The company just launched SQL Layer as an add-on product to its FoundationDB database. Here's a quick take on the announcement.

SQL Layer

Here's what the company has to say about the product:

The SQL Layer is an ANSI SQL engine that stores its data in the Key-Value Store, inheriting its incredible properties. It is best suited for operational (OLTP) applications with high concurrency.

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FoundationDB's SQL Layer makes its highly distributed, key-value store database appear to be a single SQL database to applications. What the company has actually developed is a stateless "layer" that translates and stores all data in their Key-Value Store. The architecture was designed to provide a familiar interface to the back-end data grid. FoundationDB presents this approach as providing a high level of scalability and fault-tolerance.

Snapshot analysis

At first glance, this announcement isn't earth shattering, but it is an important step in making FoundationDB a more friendly tool for all those SQL-trained developers out there. It can hide a key-value store database approaches behind a traditional structured query language personality without sacrificing any of the flexibility, scalability or reliability of the underlying database.

This is a good move for the company and will make it easier to get developers to look at FoundationDB. While I don't expect these developers to suddenly decide to move all of their enterprise applications over to this platform, I do believe that it will be easier to get them to try it out.