Review: Stretch your NoSQL database with MarkLogic 8

Enterprise-oriented document database brings powerful indexing and flexible querying to a broad range of data types

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At a Glance
  • MarkLogic 8

MarkLogic is a document-oriented, distributed NoSQL database from the company of the same name. In the world of MarkLogic, a document is principally an XML file, though MarkLogic can also handle JSON documents, text files, image files, audio files, and more. If you can put it in a file, you can put it in a MarkLogic database. The system's ability to ingest JSON and manipulate it with the same ease as XML is new with the latest release, MarkLogic 8.

MarkLogic describes itself as schema-less, in that two documents in the same database can be composed of completely different structures. In addition to easy manipulation of text, MarkLogic's querying system also recognizes RDF (Resource Description Framework) and geospatial data.

Designed to run on commodity hardware, a single-instance MarkLogic server needs only 512MB of RAM (though at least 2GB is recommended). Versions exist for 64-bit Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012, Solaris 10, Mac OS X, and various Linux distributions, including Suse, Red Hat, and CentOS. In addition, it can be deployed to Amazon EC2.

MarkLogic offers several licensing options. The developer license is free, and its features are pretty much identical to those available through the paid license editions. The exceptions: You cannot use the database in a commercial product, there's no support, and you must renew the license every six months. (For license and feature details, see the MarkLogic website.)

MarkLogic is a very flexible database, both in the types of data natively supported and in the ways that data can be indexed and queried. Not surprisingly, the price you pay for that flexibility is a good deal of complexity. For example, administrators must determine which among 30-plus indexes best suits the intended application.

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