Why a NoSQL Database is the Best Solution for a Startup
by Oren Eini
Opening a startup can be one of the most exciting undertakings a person can take in their life. It is also one of the hardest. Long hours, a to-do list longer than the interstate highway, and feeling that for every task traversed another 10 emerge accompany you along your journey.
The process for a successful startup is like the process of developing an application: fail quickly and improve constantly. To do that, you need to have the flexibility to pivot within your market. You need to prioritize everything because as scarce as money may be, time is what you are up against.
Moments are more precious than diamonds. Optimizing each unit of productivity is the critical vital sign for every aspiring enterprise.
The database you choose must suit your needs from day one. The right database underwrites a smooth and fast application performance that will keep your users coming back. The right database must take less time to install, setup, and secure. It must demand less day to day work from your CTO, who is probably also playing the role of database administrator, developer, and the quality assurance team. Every day is a race between sustainable growth, new funding, or cash burnout. Your database must fit into this demanding business model.
The knee jerk reaction is to go with an SQL solution. They have been around since the days of disco. That may be the safe approach for a large enterprise, but so is leaving the office by 5:00.
A NoSQL solution is better suited for your startup. Like the successful entrepreneur, it is at several places at all times. Like the disrupter, it will be available evenings and weekends. The right NoSQL solution meets your needs in the following ways:
An Agile Database Makes is Flexible from Day One
NoSQL is Schemaless. A schema is the blueprint for your database. It is a list of what items of data you will need, along with the types of data for each item. By nature, a schema is very rigid. If you suddenly decide that one type of data is useless, and you need to swap it for another, the process can be time consuming.
Schema’s, which are the foundation of every relational database, are very hard to change once they are set up. Once you complete work on a 10 story building, how simple is it to make changes to it’s foundation?
A startup knows the least about it’s business at the beginning. The learning curve is steepest at the initial phases. A database architecture that demands to hear how the story will end before you even write the first chapter limits your flexibility in making creative decisions to the untold challenges you will inevitably face.
That’s not fair, is it?
A NoSQL database, like RavenDB, doesn’t need a schema. It is based on JSON documents where you can add additional data fields without having to make any fundamental changes. As your business evolves, your database is able to evolve with it. A NoSQL solution makes your database as agile as you need it.
Every startup has at least one EUREKA moment. That instant when you realize that if you do it differently, you take a giant leap towards your next goal. The right NoSQL solution will not hold you back.
When You Need to Work with Relational Databases
What if you do need to work with SQL solutions? A core part of any application is taking data from other applications and processing it, or presenting it to the user. Some of the best startups base their entire value on how they take data from other sources, improve on it, and return it to their users.
How does a NoSQL solution add to the process?
You strip the schema from the data. You take the data from the rows in the SQL, and migrate it into documents in your NoSQL solution. This is a game changer. Say you are a trading platform. You take historical stock data for NYSE listings from one place, and Nasdaq listings from someplace else.
What happens when they call the same information by different names? What happens when they create different multiples, rates of changes, and other metrics using different methods of computation?
A NoSQL database can take all the data and label it how you want. You have real-time flexibility and can integrate information from multiple data sources at will.
When I Need My Database Running NOW
Every startup runs a race to the death. It needs to produce results as soon as possible to generate new funds or additional earnings before cash burn reaches 100%. The right database can be installed, set up, and secured within minutes to give you a head start in reaching your next critical milestone:
Crunching Big Data to Uncover the Right Opportunities
It’s one thing to store half a million visits to your website, it’s another to aggregate the points of data into real metrics that can help you analyze what is happening, and what is the next step? Getting the numbers quickly impacts how fast your business can react to a changing situation, or capitalize on a newly discovered opportunity.
A relational database has to go over all the data points, and make tallies every time you ask for aggregate data. The processing time can be expensive. It can hoard server resources away from other operations. Users can experience a reduction in performance while your queries are running.
RavenDB uses a dynamic optimization model, constantly working to give you the best results and predicting what you’ll do next and doing the work ahead of time so you don’t have to wait.. When you create an aggregation, like generating total sales volume for Sunday, it will crunch the numbers the old-fashioned way just once. From then on, every new bit of data that fits the criteria for the aggregate will be automatically added to the tally on an ongoing basis. The next time you want to know about Sunday sales, the information will be sitting there waiting for you. This saves huge amounts of time, your business server resources, and gives you the information you need the moment you need it.
Being Ready to Succeed
As a startup, traffic and conversions start slow, but on any given day they can EXPLODE unexpectedly. It’s not just the spike in traffic you need to be ready for, it’s the increase in conversions. Data writes are typically more time costly than reads so when more people are on line to buy, our NoSQL solution lets you set up extra cash registers fast.
RavenDB offers a scale out architecture. You can expand the number of servers replicating and offering your database to your users in minutes. We don’t want your best day to be ruined by a frantic search for new capacity. The only pressure that should be felt now is in that space right between the champagne and the cork.
Making Your Database a Part of the Development Team
RavenDB was built to keep your eyes on the prize.
We know how important it is to dedicate every precious moment you have towards building your product, and setting up your presence in the market. You are in the race of your life. Wasting time on support is like running in place. At RavenDB, we offer the best support, but our primary goal is that you won’t need it.
We charge less for tech support because we know what the most common issues are, and we built in automatic fixes to handle them before you even notice. We fix your problems before you even have them.
According to a study conducted by the University of Texas, 43% of companies that suffer catastrophic data loss never reopen. A relational database architecture gives you one point of failure. If the neck gets cut, the body is gone. NoSQL is distributed. Your database lives on multiple servers, over low-cost commodity hardware. It is constantly replicated with every transaction.
Having your data in multiple places at all times protects you from catastrophe. RavenDB also has automatic backups, allowing you to park the most recent state of your data somewhere outside your cluster. We give you several lines of defense to protect your business from Armageddon.
Protecting Your Reputation
RavenDB is one of the only databases that gives you the speed and flexibility of NoSQL, plus the data integrity of a relational database. We are a fully transactional database (ACID).
Most NoSQL databases are not transactional. If there is a crash, you risk losing some of your data. If this is information a customer gave to you, it can destroy your reputation. An ACID database makes sure your data integrity is maintained at all times. We combine the best that SQL offers with the best of NoSQL to give your brand name a level of trust that your customers can believe in.
Working with SQL solutions
You can interface with your users with RavenDB, while replicating the data to your legacy system in real time. If you have analytics reports that are synchronized to your current system, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
The ROI on your database is based on its ability to set up fast, deliver superior performance to your users, protect the integrity of your data at all times, scale up suddenly, and maintain airtight security for your customers private information. At RavenDB, we support you in every phase of the process. Try it out at no cost!