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For over forty years, relational databases have been the leading model for data storage, retrieval and management. However, due to increasing needs for scalability and performance, alternative systems have emerged, namely NoSQL technology. The rising interest in NoSQL technology, as well as the growth in the number of use case scenarios, over the last few years resulted in an increasing number of evaluations and comparisons among competing NoSQL technologies. While most research work mostly focuses on performance evaluation using standard benchmarks, it is important to notice that the architecture of real world systems is not only driven by performance requirements, but has to comprehensively include many other quality attribute requirements. Software quality attributes form the basis from which software engineers and architects develop software and make design decisions. Yet, there has been no quality attribute focused survey or classification of NoSQL databases where databases are compared with regards to their suitability for quality attributes common on the design of enterprise systems. To fill this gap, and aid software engineers and architects, in this article, we survey and create a concise and up-to-date comparison of NoSQL engines, identifying their most beneficial use case scenarios from the software engineer point of view and the quality attributes that each of them is most suited to.
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Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18
DOI 10.1186/s40537-015-0025-0
RESEARCH Open Access
Choosing the right NoSQL database for the
job: a quality attribute evaluation
João Ricardo Lourenço1* , Bruno Cabral1, Paulo Carreiro2, Marco Vieira1and Jorge Bernardino1,3
1CISUC, Department of Informatics
Engineering, University of Coimbra,
Pólo II – Pinhal de Marrocos,
3030-290 Coimbra, Portugal
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
For over forty years, relational databases have been the leading model for data storage,
retrieval and management. However, due to increasing needs for scalability and
performance, alternative systems have emerged, namely NoSQL technology. The rising
interest in NoSQL technology, as well as the growth in the number of use case
scenarios, over the last few years resulted in an increasing number of evaluations and
comparisons among competing NoSQL technologies. While most research work
mostly focuses on performance evaluation using standard benchmarks, it is important
to notice that the architecture of real world systems is not only driven by performance
requirements, but has to comprehensively include many other quality attribute
requirements. Software quality attributes form the basis from which software engineers
and architects develop software and make design decisions. Yet, there has been no
quality attribute focused survey or classification of NoSQL databases where databases
are compared with regards to their suitability for quality attributes common on the
design of enterprise systems. To fill this gap, and aid software engineers and architects,
in this article, we survey and create a concise and up-to-date comparison of NoSQL
engines, identifying their most beneficial use case scenarios from the software
engineer point of view and the quality attributes that each of them is most suited to.
Keywords: NoSQL databases; Key-value; Document store; Columnar; Graph; Software
engineering; Quality attributes; Software architecture
Relational databases have been the stronghold of modern computing applications for
decades. ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) made relational
databases the solution for almost all data management systems. However, the need to
handle data in web-scale systems [1–3], in particular Big Data systems [4], have led to the
creation of numerous NoSQL databases.
The term NoSQL was first coined in 1988 to name a relational database that did not
have a SQL (Structured Query Language) interface [5]. It was then brought back in 2009
for naming an event which highlighted new non-relational databases, such as BigTable [3]
and Dynamo [6], and has since been used without an “official” definition. Generally speak-
ing, a NoSQL database is one that uses a different approach to data storage and access
when compared with relational database management systems [7, 8]. NoSQL databases
lose the support for ACID transactions as a trade-off for increased availability and scala-
bility [1, 7]. Brewer created the term BASE for these systems - they are Basically Available,
© 2015 Lourenço et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the
Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 2 of 26
have a Soft state (during which they are not yet consistent), and are Eventually consistent,
as opposed to ACID systems [9]. This BASE model forfeits the essential ACID properties
of consistency and isolation in order to favor “availability, graceful degradation, and per-
formance” [9]. While originally the term stood for “No SQL”, it has recently been restated
as “Not Only SQL” [1, 7, 10] to highlight that these systems rarely fully drop the relational
model. Thus, in spite of being a recurrent theme in literature, NoSQL is a very broad term,
encompassing very distinct database systems.
There are hundreds of readily available NoSQL databases, and each have different use
case scenarios [11]. They are usually divided in four categories [2, 7, 12], according to their
data model and storage: Key-Value Stores, Document Stores, Column Stores and Graph
databases. This classification is due to the fact that each kind of database offers different
longer applies.
There has been extensive research in the comparison of relational and non-relational
databases in terms of their performance for different applications. However, when devel-
oping enterprise systems, performance is only one of many quality attributes to be
considered. Unfortunately, there has not yet been a comprehensive assessment of NoSQL
technology in what concerns software quality attributes. The goal of this article is to fill
this gap, by clearly identifying which NoSQL databases better promote the several quality
attributes, thus becoming a reference for software engineers and architects.
This article is a revised and extended version of our WorldCIST 2015 paper [13]. It
improves and complements the former in the following aspects:
Three more quality attributes (Consistency, Robustness and Maintainability) were
A new section describing the evaluated NoSQL databases was introduced.
The state of the art was extended to provide more up to date and thorough
All of the previously evaluated quality attributes were reevaluated in light of new
studies and new developments in the NoSQL ecosystem.
New conclusions and insights derived from the quality attribute based analysis of
several NoSQL databases.
Henceforth, the main contributions of this article can be summarized as follows:
The development of a quality-attribute oriented evaluation of NoSQL databases
(Table 2). Software architects may use this information to assess which NoSQL
database best fits their quality attribute requirements.
A survey of the literature on the evaluation of NoSQL databases from a historic
The identification of several future research directions towards the full coverage of
software quality attributes in the evaluation of NoSQL databases.
The remainder of this article is structured as follows. In Section ‘Background and
literature review’, we perform a review of the literature and evaluation surround-
ing NoSQL systems. In Section ‘Research design and methodology’, we introduce the
methodology used to select the quality attributes and NoSQL databases that we evalu-
ated, as well as the methodology used in that evaluation. In Section ‘Evaluated NoSQL
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 3 of 26
databases’, we present and describe the evaluated NoSQL databases. In Section ‘Soft-
ware quality attributes’, we analyze the different quality attributes and identify the best
NoSQL solutions for each of these quality attributes according to the literature. In
Section ‘Results and discussion’, a summary table and analysis of the results of this
evaluation is provided. Finally, Section ‘Conclusions’ presents future work and draws
the conclusions.
Background and literature review
The word NoSQL was re-introduced in 2009 during an event about distributed databases
[5]. The event intended to discuss the new technologies being presented by Google
(Google BigTable [3]) and Amazon (Dynamo [14]) to handle high amounts of data.
Interest in the research of NoSQL technologies bloomed since then, and lead to the
publication of works, such as those by Stonebraker and Cattell [12, 15, 16]. Sonebraker
began his research by describing different types of NoSQL technology and differences
among those when compared to relational technology. The author argues that the main
reasons to move to NoSQL databases are performance and flexibility. Performance is
mainly focused on sharing and management of distributed data (i. e. dealing with “Big
Data”), while flexibility relates to the semi-structured or unstructured data that may arise
on the web.
By 2011, the NoSQL ecosystem was thriving, with several databases being the
center of multiple studies [17–20]. These included Cassandra, Amazon SimpleDB,
SciDB, CouchDB, MongoDB, Riak, Redis, and many others. Researchers categorized
existing databases, and identified what kinds of NoSQL databases existed according
to different architectures and goals. Ultimately, the majority agreed on four cate-
gories of databases [11]: Document Store, Column Store, Key-value Store and Graph-
oriented databases.
Hecht and Jablonski [11] described the main characteristics offered by different NoSQL
solutions, such as availability and horizontal scailability. Konstantinou et al. [19] per-
formed a study based on the elasticity of non-relational solutions and compared HBase,
Cassandra and Riak during execution of read and update operations. The authors con-
cluded that HBase provided high elasticity and fast reads while Cassandra was capable of
delivering fast inserts (writes). On the other hand, according to the authors, Riak did not
show good scaling and high performance increase, regardless of the type of access. Many
studies focused on evaluating performance [4, 11, 21].
Performance evaluations were made easier by the popularization of the Yahoo! Cloud
Serving Benchmark (YCSB), proposed and implemented by Cooper et al. [21]. This
benchmark, still widely used today, allows testing the read/write, latency and elasticity
capabilities of any database, in particular NoSQL databases. The first studies using YCSB
evaluated Cassandra, HBase, PNUTS and MySQL to conclude that each database offers
its own set of trade-offs. The authors warn that each database performs at its best in dif-
ferent circumstances and, thus, a careful choice of the one to use must be made according
to the nature of each project.
Since 2012, NoSQL databases have been most often evaluated and compared to
RDBMSs (Relational Database Management Systems). Performance evaluation carried
by [22] compared Cassandra, MongoDB and PostgreSQL, concluding that MongoDB
is capable of providing high throughput, but mainly when it is used as a single server
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 4 of 26
instance. On the other hand, the best choice for supporting a large distributed sensor sys-
tem was considered Cassandra due to its horizontal scalability. Floratou et al. [4] used
YCSB and TPC-H to compare the performance of MongoDB and MS SQL Server, as
well as Hive. The authors state that NoSQL technology has room for improvement and
should be further updated. Ashram and Anderson [7] studied the data model of Twitter
and found that using non-relational technology creates additional difficulties on the pro-
grammers’ side. Parker et al. [23] also chose MongoDB and compared its performance
with MS SQL Server using only one server instance. According to their results, when
performing inserts, updates and selects, MongoDB is faster, but MS SQL Server out-
performs MongoDB when running complex queries instead of simpler key-value access.
In [24], Kashyap et al. compare the performance, scalability and availability of HBase,
MongoDB, Cassandra and CouchDB by using YCSB. Their results show that Cassandra
and HBase shared similar behaviour, but the former scaled better, and that MongoDB
performed better than HBase by factors in the hundreds for their particular workload.
The authors are prudent, and note that NoSQL is constantly evolving and that eval-
uations can quickly become obsolete. Rabl et al. [25] studied Cassandra, Voldemort,
HBase, Redis, VoltDB and MySQL Cluster with regards to throughput, latency and scal-
ability. Cassandra’s throughput is consistently better than that of the other databases,
but it exhibits high latency. Voldemort, HBase and Cassandra all show linear scalabil-
ity, and Voldemort has the most stable, lowest latency. Of the tested NoSQL databases,
VoltDB has the worst results and HBase also lagged behind the other databases in terms
of throughput.
Already in 2013, with the research focus on performance, Thumbtack Technologies
produced two white papers comparing Aerospike, Cassandra, Couchbase and MongoDB
[26, 27]. In [26], the authors compare the durability and performance trade-offs of several
state of the art NoSQL systems. Their results firstly show that Couchbase and Aerospike
have good in-memory performance, and that MongoDB and Cassandra lagged behind
in bulk loading capabilities. Regarding durability, Aerospike beats the competition in
large balanced and read-heavy datasets. For in-memory datasets, Couchbase performed
similarly to Aerospike as well. In their second paper [27], the authors study failover char-
acteristics. Their results allow for many conclusions, but overall tend to indicate that
Aerospike, Cassandra and Couchbase give strong availability guarantees.
In [28], MongoDB and Cassandra are compared in terms of their features and their
capabilities by using YCSB. MongoDB is shown to be impacted by high workloads,
whereas Cassandra seemed to experience performance boosts with increasing amounts
of data. Additionally, Cassandra was found to be superior for update operations. In [29],
the authors studied the applicability of NoSQL to RDF (Resource Description Framework
data) processing, and make several key observations: 1) distributed NoSQL systems can
be competitive with RDF stores with regards to query times; 2) NoSQL systems scale more
gracefully than RDF stores when loading data in parallel; 3) complex SPARQL (SPARQL
Protocol and RDF Query Language) queries, particularly with joins, perform poorly on
NoSQL systems; classical query optimization techniques work well on NoSQL RDF sys-
tems; 5) MapReduce-like operations introduce higher latency. As their final conclusion,
the authors state that NoSQL represents a compelling alternative to native RDF stores for
simple workloads. Several other studies were performed in the same year regarding the
applicability of NoSQL to diverse scenarios, such as [30–32].
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 5 of 26
More recently, as of 2014, experiments have stopped being so focused on performance,
and having additional focus on applicability. NoSQL has seen validation and widespread
usage, and so, in [10], a survey of some of the most popular NoSQL solutions is described.
The authors state some of the advantages and main uses according to the NoSQL database
type. In another evaluation, [33] performed their tests using real medical scenarios using
MongoDB and CouchDB. They concluded that MongoDB and CouchDB have similar per-
formance and drawbacks and note that, while applicable to medical imaging archiving,
NoSQL still has to improve. In [34], the Yahoo! Cloud Serving Benchmark is used with
a middleware layer that allows translating SQL queries into NoSQL commands. They
tested Cassandra and MongoDB with and without the middleware layer, noting that it
was possible to build middleware to ease the move from relational data stores to NoSQL
databases. In [35], a write-intensive enterprise application is used as the basis for com-
paring Cassandra, MongoDB and Couchbase with MS SQL server. The results show that
Cassandra outperforms the other NoSQL databases in a four-node setup, and that a MS
SQL Server running on a single node vastly outperforms all NoSQL contenders for this
particular setup and scenario.
The latest trends in NoSQL research, although still related to applicability and per-
formance, have also concerned the validity of the benchmarking processes and tools
used throughout the years. The authors of [36] propose an improvement of YCSB,
called YCSB++, to deal with several shortcomings of the benchmark. In [37], the author
proposes a method to validate previously proposed benchmarks of NoSQL databases,
claiming that rigorous algorithms should be used for benchmarking methodology before
any practical use. Chen et al., in [38], perform a survey of benchmarking tools, such as
YCSB and TPC-C and list shortcomings and difficulties in implementing MapReduce and
Big Data related benchmark systems, proposing methods for overcoming these difficul-
ties. Similar work had already been done by [39], where benchmarks are reviewed and
suggestions are given on building better benchmarks.
As we have seen, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies focused on quality
attributes and how each NoSQL system fits each of these attributes. Our work attempts
to fill in this gap, by reviewing the literature, in Section ‘Software quality attributes’, with
regards to the different quality attributes, finally presenting our findings in a summary
table in Section ‘Results and discussion’.
It is important to notice that the analysis of NoSQL systems is inherently bound
to the CAP theorem [40]. The CAP theorem, proposed by Brewer, states that no
distributed system can simultaneously guarantee Consistency, Availability and Partition-
Tolerance. In the context of the CAP theorem [40, 41], consistency is often viewed
as the premise that all nodes see the same data at the same time [42]. Indeed, of
Brewer’s CAP theorem, most databases choose to be “AP”, meaning they provide
Availability and Partition-Tolerance. Since Partition-Tolerance is a property that often
cannot be traded off, Availability and Consistency are juggled, with most databases
sacrificing more consistency than availability [43]. In Fig. 1, an illustration of CAP is
Some authors (Brewer being one of them) have come to criticize the way the CAP
theorem is interpreted and some have claimed that much has been written in literature
under false assumptions [41, 44–46]. The idea of CA (systems which ensure Consistency
and Availability) is now most often looked at as a trade-off on a micro-scale [41], where
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 6 of 26
Fig. 1 CAP theorem with databases that “choose” CA, CP and AP
individual operations can have their consistency guarantees explicitly defined. This means
that some operations can be tied to full consistency (in the ACID semantics sense), or to
one of a vast range of possible consistency options. Modern NoSQL systems allow for this
consistency tuning and should therefore not be looked at under such a simplistic view
which narrows the whole system to “CA, “CP” or “AP”.
Research design and methodology
This work was developed to answer the following research question: “Is there cur-
rently enough knowledge on quality attributes in NoSQL systems to aid a software
engineer’s decision process”? In our literature survey, we did not find any similar work
attempting to provide a quality attribute guided evaluation of NoSQL databases. Thus,
we devised a methodology to develop this work and answer our original research
We began by identifying several desirable quality attributes to evaluate in NoSQL
databases. There are hundreds of quality attributes, yet some are nearly ubiquitous to
every software project [47], and others are intimately tied to the topic of database sys-
tems, storage models and web applications (where the database backend often requires
certain quality attributes) [48]. This lead us to identify the following quality attributes
to evaluate: Availability, Consistency, Durability, Maintainability, Read and Write perfor-
mance, Recovery Time, Reliability, Robustness, Scalability and Stabilization Time. These
attributes are interdependent and have impact on most software projects. Most of these
attributes have also been the target (even if indirectly) of some studies [18, 27, 27, 49, 50],
rendering them ideal picks for this work.
Once these quality attributes had been identified, we identified which NoSQL systems
were more popular and used, so as to narrow our research to a fixed set of NoSQL
databases. This search lead us to selecting Aerospike, Cassandra, Couchbase, CouchDB,
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 7 of 26
HBase, MongoDB and Voldemort as the systems to evaluate. These are often found in
literature [6, 10, 11, 26, 51, 52] and other sources [53] as the most popular and used
systems, as well as the most versatile or appropriate to certain scenarios. For instance,
while Couchbase and CouchDB share source-code and several similar original design
goals, they have evolved into different systems, both with very high success and differ-
ent characteristics. In much the same way, MongoDB and Cassandra, which are probably
the most used NoSQL databases in the market, have fundamentally different approaches
to storage model. Thus, our selection of databases attempted to find not only the most
popular and mature databases in general, but also those that find high applicability in
specific areas.
We surveyed the literature to evaluate the selected quality attributes on the aforemen-
tioned databases. This survey took into account already available evaluations regarding
certain quality attributes, such as performance [51, 54], consistency [43] or durability
[26]. Each of the surveyed papers was taken into account according to the versions of
the database tested (e.g. papers with outdated versions were given less relevance), gen-
erality of results and overall relevance to this evaluation. The summary table presented
in Section ‘Results and discussion’ is the result of this careful evaluation of the NoSQL
literature, technical knowledge found on the NoSQL ecosystem and expert opinions and
positions. We also took into account the overall architectures of each NoSQL system (e.g.
systems built with durability limitations are intrinsically limited in terms of this quality
attribute). The result of this methodology is the aforementioned summary table, which we
hope will aid software engineers and architects in their decision process when selecting a
given NoSQL database according to a certain quality attribute.
In the following sections, we present the databases that we evaluated from the literature,
as well as that evaluation.
Evaluated NoSQL databases
There are several popular NoSQL databases which have gained recognition and are usu-
ally considered before other NoSQL alternatives. We studied several of these databases
(Aerospike, Cassandra, Couchbase, CouchDB, HBase, MongoDB and Voldemort) by per-
forming a literature review and introduce the first quality attribute based evaluation of
NoSQL databases. In this section, these selected databases are presented, with a summary
table at the end (Table 1) detailing their characteristics.
Aerospike (formerly known as Citrusleaf [10] and recently open-sourced) is a NoSQL
shared-nothing key-value database which offers mainly AP (Availability and Partition-
Tolerance) characteristics. Additionally, the developers claim that it provides high con-
sistency [55] by trading off availability and consistency at low granularity in specific
subsystems, restricting communication latencies, minimizing cluster size, maximizing
consistency and availability during failover situations and automatic conflict resolution.
Consistency is guaranteed by using synchronous writes to replicas, guaranteeing imme-
diate consistency. This immediate consistency can be relaxed if the software architects
view that as a necessity. Durability is ensured by guaranteeing the use of flash/SSD on
every node and performing direct reads from flash, as well as replication on several
different layers.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 8 of 26
Table 1 Summary table with characteristics of the selected NoSQL databases
Aerospike Cassandra Couchbase CouchDB HBase MongoDB Voldemort
Category Key-Value Column-Store Document-Store Document-Store Column-Store Document-Store Key-Value
Consistency Configurable Configurable Eventual Eventual Configurable Configurable Read-Repair
(several options) (several options) Consistency Consistency (strong and
(several options) (client handles
Durability Notified written
to replica nodes
(several options)
(several options)
(notified written
to at least one
(several options)
(several options)
Notified written
to desired nodes
Querying Internal API Internal API, SQL
like (CQL)
Internal API
Internal API
Internal API Internal API,
complex query
Internal API
(get, put
isolation level
(support for
MVCC MVCC (application
can select
Optimistic or
MVCC (application
can select
Optimistic or
locking with
Master-slave with
locking with
(Paxos based)
(third party)
Range Based Consistent
Partitioning Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 9 of 26
Failover can be handled in two different ways [55]: focusing on High consistency on AP
mode, or on Availability in CP (Consistency and Partition-Tolerance) mode. The former
uses techniques to “virtually eliminate network based partitioning”, including fast heart-
beats and consistent Paxos based cluster formation. These techniques favor Consistency
over Availability to ensure that the system does not enter a state of network partition. If,
however, partitioning occurs, Aerospike offers two conflict handling policies: one relies
on the database’s auto-merging capabilities, and the other offloads the conflict to the
application layer so that application developers can resolve the conflicts by themselves
and re-write the right data back to the database. The second way that Aerospike manages
failover is to provide Availability while in CP mode. In this mode, availability needs to
be sacrificed by, for instance, forcing the minority quorum(s) to halt, thus avoiding data
inconsistency if a network split occurs.
Aerospike is, henceforth, an in-memory database with disk persistence, automatic
data partitioning and synchronous replication, offering cross data center replication and
configurability in the failover handling mechanism, preferring full consistency or high
consistency [10, 52, 55].
Cassandra is an open-source shared-nothing NoSQL column-store database developed
and used in Facebook [10, 52, 56]. It is based on the ideas behind Google BigTable [3] and
Amazon Dynamo [14].
Cassandra is similar to BigTable in what concerns the data model. The minimal unit of
storage is a column, with rows consisting of columns or super columns (nested columns).
Columns themselves consist of the name, value and timestamp, all of which are pro-
vided by the client. Since it is column-based, rows need not have the same number of
columns [10].
Cassandra supports a SQL-like language called CQL, together with other protocols [10].
Indexes and secondary indexes are supported, and atomicity is guaranteed at the level of
one table row. Persistence is ensured by logging. Consistency is highly tunable according
to the desired operation – the application developer can specify the desired level of con-
sistency, trading off latency and consistency. Conflicts are resolved based on timestamps
(the newest record is kept). The database operates in master-master mode [52], where no
node is different from another, and combines disk-persistence with in-memory caching
of results, resulting in high write throughput operations [52, 56]. The master-master
architecture makes it easy for horizontal scalability to happen [56]. There are several
different partitioning techniques and replication can be automatically managed by the
database [56].
Apache CouchDB is another open-source project, written in Erlang, and following a
document-oriented approach [10]. Documents are written in JSON and are meant to
be accessed with CouchDB’s specific implementation of MapReduce views written in
This database uses a B-tree index [10], updated during data modifications. These
modifications have ACID properties on the document level and the use of MVCC
(Multi-Version Concurrency Control) enables readers to never block [10]. CouchDB’s
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 10 of 26
document manipulation uses optimistic locks by updating an append-only B-tree for data
storage, meaning that data must be periodically compressed. This compression, in spite
of maintaining availability, may hinder performance [10].
Regarding fault-tolerant replication mechanisms [57], CouchDB supports both master-
slave and master-master replication that can be used between different instances of
CouchDB or on a single instance. Scaling in CouchDB is achieved by replicating data,
a process which is performed asynchronously. It does not natively support shard-
ing/partitioning [10]. Consistency is guaranteed in the form of strengthened eventual
consistency [10], and conflict resolution is performed by selecting the most up to date
version (the application layer can later try to merge conflicting changes, if possible, back
into the document). CouchDB’s programming interface is REST-based [10, 57]. Ideally,
CouchDB should be able to fit the whole dataset into the RAM of the cluster, as it is
primarily a RAM-based database.
Couchbase is a combination of Membase (a key-value system with memcached compat-
ibility) and CouchDB. It can be used in key-value fashion, but is considered a document
store working with JSON documents (similarly to CouchDB) [10].
Documents, in Couchbase, have an intrinsic unique id and are stored in what are called
data buckets. Like CouchDB, queries are built using MapReduce views in Javascript. The
optimistic locking associated with an append-only B-tree is also implemented like in
CouchDB. The default consistency level is eventual consistency (due to MapReduce views
being constructed asynchronously). There is also the option of specifying that data should
be indexed immediately [10].
A major difference when comparing Couchbase with CouchDB regards sharding [10].
Whereas CouchDB does not natively support sharding (there are projects, such as
CouchDB Lounge [10] which enable this), Couchbase comes with transparent sharding
off-the-shelf, with application transparency. Replication is also a major point of difference
between the two databases, as couchbase supports intercluster and intracluster replica-
tion. The latter is performed within a cluster, guaranteeing immediate consistency. The
former kind of replication ensures eventual consistency and is made asynchronously
between geographically distributed clusters (conflict resolution is performed in the same
way CouchDB does it). This database is mostly intended to run in-memory, so as to hold
the whole dataset in RAM [10, 29].
HBase is an open-source database written in Java and developed by the Apache Software
Foundation. It is intended to be the open-source implementation of the Google BigTable
principles, and relies on the Apache Hadoop Framework and the Apache ZooKeeper
projects. It is, therefore, a column-store database [10].
HBase’s architecture is highly inspired by Google’s BigTable [3, 10], and, thus, their
capabilities are similar. There are, however, certain differences. The Hadoop Distributed
File System (HDFS) is used for distributed storage, although other backends can be used
(e.g. Hadoop MapReduce), in place of the Google File System. HBase also supports sev-
eral master servers to improve system reliability, but does not support the concept of
locality. Similarly to Google BigTable, it does not support full ACID semantics, although
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 11 of 26
several properties are guaranteed [58]. Atomicity is guaranteed within a row and con-
sistency ensures that no rows result of interleaving operations (i.e. the row must have
effectively existed at some point in time). Still on the topic of consistency, rows are
guaranteed to only move forward in time, never backward, and scans do not exhibit snap-
shot isolation, but, rather, the “read commited” isolation level. Durability is established
in the sense that all data which is read has already been made durable (i.e. persisted
to disk), and that all operations returning success have ensured this durability prop-
erty. This can be configured, so that data is only periodically flushed to disk [58]. HBase
does not support secondary indexes, meaning that data can only be queried by the
primary key or by a table scan. It is worth noting that data, in HBase is also absent
of data types (everything is a byte array) [52]. Regarding the programming interface,
HBase can be interfaced using a Java API, a REST interface, and the Avro and Thrift
protocols [10].
MongoDB is an open-source document-oriented database written in C++ and devel-
oped by the 10gen company. It uses JSON (data is stored and transferred in a binary,
more compact form named BSON), allowing for a schemaless data model where the only
requirement is that an id is always present [10, 56].
MongoDB’s horizontal scalability is mainly provided through the use of automatic
sharding [56]. Replication is also supported using locks and the asynchronous master-
slave model, meaning that writes are only processed by the master node and reads can
be made from both the master node and from one of the slave nodes. Writes are propa-
gated to the slave nodes by reading from the master’s oplog (operation log) [56]. Database
clients can choose the kind of consistency models they wish, by defining whether reads
from secondary nodes are allowed and from how many nodes the confirmation must be
Document manipulation is a strong focus of MongoDB, as the database provides
different frameworks (e.g. MapReduce and Aggregation Framework) and ways of inter-
acting with documents [10]. These can be queried, sorted, projected, iterated with
cursors, aggregated, among other operations. The changes to a document are guaran-
teed to be atomic. Indexing can be used on one or several fields (implemented using
B-trees), with the possibility of using two-dimensional spatial indexes for geometry-based
data [10]. There are many different programming interfaces supported by MongoDB, with
most popular programming languages having native bindings. A REST interface is also
supported [10].
Project Voldemort is an open-source key-value store implemented in Java which presents
itself as an open-source implementation of the Amazon Dynamo database [10, 14, 59, 60].
It supports scalar values, lists and records with named fields associated with a single key.
Arbitrary fields can be used if they are serializable [10].
Operations on the data are simple and limited: there are put,get and delete commands
[10, 60]. In this sense, Voldemort can be considered (as the developers themselves put
it), “basically just a big, distributed, persistent, fault-tolerant hash table” [59]. For data
modification, the MVCC mechanism is used [10].
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 12 of 26
Replication is supported using the consistent hashing method (proposed in [61])
[10, 60]. Sharding is implemented transparently with support for adding and removing
nodes in real-time (although this feature was not always easily available [62]). Data is
meant to stay in RAM as much as possible, with persistent data storage using several
mechanisms, such as Berkley DB [60]. Voldemort uses a Java API [52].
Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of the studied NoSQL databases, similar to the
work seen in [1, 11, 17, 49, 63], but providing a broader and more up to date view of
these characteristics. Its information is derived from the previous sections and addi-
tional relevant sources ([12, 64–71]). Each NoSQL database is described according to key
characteristics: category (e.g. Key-Value database), positioning in the context of the CAP
theorem, consistency guarantees and configurability, durability guarantees and configura-
bility, querying possibilities and mechanisms (i.e. how are queries made and how complex
can queries be?), concurrency control mechanisms, partitioning schemes and the exis-
tence of native partitioning. It should be noted that, as we have previously discussed,
modern NoSQL databases often allow for fine-tuning of consistency and availability prop-
erties on a per-query basis, making the CAP-based classification (“AP”, “CP”, etc) overly
simplistic [41, 44–46].
Software quality attributes
In the previous section we identified and described several NoSQL databases. In this
section, we survey the literature on NoSQL databases to find how each of these satisfy
the software quality attributes that we selected. Each subsection explores the NoSQL
literature on a given quality attribute, drawing conclusions regarding all of the evalu-
ated NoSQL databases. This information is then summarized in the following section
(Section ‘Results and discussion’), where a table is provided to aid software architects and
engineers in their decision process.
Availability concerns what percentage of time a system is operating correctly [1]. NoSQL
technology is inherently bound to provide availability more easily than relational systems.
In fact, given the existence of Brewer’s CAP theorem [40], and the presence of failures in
real-world systems (whether they are related to the network or to an application crash),
NoSQL databases oppose most relational databases by favoring availability instead of con-
sistency. Thus, one can assert that the higher the availability of a NoSQL system, the less
likely it is that it provides high consistency guarantees. Several NoSQL databases provide
ways to tune the trade-off between consistency and availability, including Dynamo [14],
Cassandra, CouchDB and MongoDB [9].
Apache CouchDB uses a shared-nothing clustering approach, allowing all replica nodes
to continue working even if they are disconnected, thus being a good candidate for sys-
tems where high availability is needed [9]. It is worth noting, however, that this database
periodically requires a compaction step which may hinder system performance, but which
does not affect the availability of its nodes under normal operation [3].
In 2013, [27] tested several NoSQL Databases (Aerospike, Cassandra, Couchbase and
MongoDB) concerning their failover characteristics. Their results showed that Aerospike
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 13 of 26
had the lowest downtime, followed by Cassandra, with MongoDB having the least favor-
able downtime. One should note that the results shown in the paper are limited to
RAM-only datasets and hence might not be the best source for real-world scenarios.
MongoDB’s results are also not surprising, as even though it allows for fine-tuning (to
adjust the consistency-availability trade-offs), several tests have shown that it is not the
best choice for a highly available system, in particular due to overhead when nodes are
rejoining the system (see, for instance, [1, 9] and our section on reliability). Lastly, [5]
tested several NoSQL databases on the Cloud and noted that Riak could not provide
high-availability under very high loads.
Thus, there is no obvious candidate for a highly available system, but there are several
competing solutions, in particular when coupled with systems such as Memcached [2].
play a major role, as pointed by several authors [27, 72]. Furthermore, the popular
MongoDB and Riak databases seem less likely to be good picks for this use case scenario.
Consistency is related to transactions and, although not universally defined, can be seen
as the guarantee that transactions started in the future see the effects of transactions com-
mitted in the past, coupled with the insurance of database constraints [73–75]. It is useful
to recall that, in the context of the CAP theorem [40, 41], consistency is often seen as the
premise that all nodes see the same data at the same time [42] (i.e., the CAP version of
consistency is merely a subset of the ACID version of the same property [41]). We have
previously seen that consistency and availability are highly related properties of NoSQL
Cassandra has several different consistency guarantees [76]. The database allows for
tunable consistency at both the read and write level, even with near-ACID semantics if
consistency level “ALL” is picked. MongoDB, in spite of being generally regarded as a
CP system, offers similar consistency options [76, 77]. Couchbase offers strong consis-
tency guarantees for document access, whereas query access is eventually consistent [67].
HBase provides eventual consistency without fine-tuning being possible [58] (there is only
the choice of opting for strong or eventual consistency), and CouchDB, being an AP sys-
tem, fully relies on eventual consistency [78]. The Voldemort project puts more stress on
application logic to deal with inconsistencies in data, by using read repair [60].
Regarding concrete experiments, not much has been done to study consistency as a
property in itself. Recent work by Bermbach et al. [76] has seen the proposal of a general
architecture for consistency benchmarking. The authors test their proposal on Cassan-
dra and MongoDB, concluding that MongoDB performed better, but also noting that
they are merely proposing an architecture and that their tests might have been impacted
negatively due to their testing environment. The authors of [54] study Cassandra and
Couchbase in a real world microblogging scenario, concluding that Couchbase provided
consistent results faster (i.e. the same value took less time to reach all node replicas). In
[79], the authors study Amazon S3’s consistency behavior and conclude that it frequently
violates the monotonic read consistency property (other related work is presented by
Bermbach et al. [76]). It seems that a general framework for testing consistency might
provide with more in depth answers to the effectiveness of consistency trade-offs and
techniques provided by each NoSQL database.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 14 of 26
In summary, as the NoSQL ecosystem matures, there is a tendency towards micro-
management of consistency and availability [41], with some solutions opting to provide
consistency (withholding availability), others providing availability (withholding consis-
tency) and another set, such as Cassandra and MongoDB, allowing for fine-tuning based
on a query basis.
Durability refers to the requirement that data be valid and committed to disk after a
successful transaction [1]. As we have previously covered, NoSQL databases act on the
premise that consistency doesn’t need to be fully enforced in the real world, preferring
to sacrifice it in adjustable ways for achieving higher availability and partition tolerance.
This impacts durability, as if a system suffers from consistency problems, its durability
will also be at risk, leading to potential data loss [26].
In [26], the authors test Aerospike, Couchbase, Cassandra and MongoDB in a series of
tests regarding durability and performance trade-offs. Their results featured Aerospike
as the fastest performing database by a factor of 5-10 when the databases were set to
synchronous replication. However, most scenarios do not rely on synchronous replica-
tion, but rather asynchronous (meaning that changes aren’t instantly propagated among
nodes). In that sense, the same authors, which in [27] studied the same databases in the
context of failover characteristics, show that MongoDB loses less data upon node fail-
ure when asynchronous replication is used. Cassandra comes as forerunner to MongoDB
by about a factor of 100, and Aerospike and Couchbase both lose very large amounts of
data. In [1], MongoDB is found to have issues with data loss when compared to CouchDB,
in particular during recovery after a crash. In the same paper, the authors highlight that
CouchDB’s immutable append only B+ Tree ensures that files are always in a valid state.
CouchDB’s durability is also noticed and justified by the authors of [2]. It should be noted
that document-based systems such as MongoDB usually use a single-versioning system,
which is designed specifically to target durability [49]. HBase’s reliance on Hadoop means
that it is inherently durable in the way requests are processed, as several authors have
noted [80–82]. Voldemort’s continuing operation as the backend to Linkedin’s service is
backed by strong durability [83], although there is a lack of studies focusing specifically
on Voldemort’s durability.
In conclusion, as with other properties, the durability of NoSQL systems can be fine-
tuned according to specific needs. However, databases based on immutability, such as
CouchDB, are good picks for a system with good durability due to their inherent prop-
erties [1]. Furthermore, single-version databases, such as MongoDB, should also be the
focus of those interested in durability advantages.
Maintainability is a quality attribute that regards the ease with which a product can be
maintained, i.e., upgraded, repaired, debugged and met with new requirements [84]. From
an intuitive point of view, systems with many components (e.g. several nodes) should add
complexity and difficult maintainability, and this is a view that several authors agree with
[7, 85]. On the other hand, as some have hypothesized, the benefits of thoughtful mod-
ularity and task division make the case for a more maintainable system [86]. Assessing
maintainability is a difficult problem which has seen vast amounts of research throughout
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 15 of 26
the years, but it has seldom been focused explicitly on the database itself (in particular
due to the widespread usage of the relational model with similar database interfaces).
In spite of the perceived difficulty in assessing the maintainability of NoSQL systems,
there has been some research on the subject. Dzhakishev [50] studied the usability and
maintainability of several NoSQL solutions in a real enterprise scenario. The author
notes how MongoDB and Neo4j have “great shell applications”, easing maintainability,
and that Neo4j even has a web interface (other NoSQL databases have such software,
e.g. Couchbase Server). The authors of [87] study social network system implementa-
tion processes and rely on their own application-specific code to ensure maintainability
of their application. They claim that versioning the schema using subversion is good
for their goals. Throughout their work, maintainability seems to be moved more into
the application layer and less into the database layer, possibly suggesting that NoSQL
maintainability must be achieved with help of the developer. In [29], another real world
experiment, the authors note the added maintainability difficulties in using HBase,
Couchbase, Cassandra and CouchDB to replace their RDF data system. Similarly, Han
[88] also faced maintainability problems with MongoDB when comparing it with the
maintainability of relational alternatives. Although no particular study in literature has
focused on the maintainability of Voldemort, from the point of view of ease of use, this
database seems harder to configure (in particular in terms of node topology changes)
than others [62].
It seems that most NoSQL systems offer limited maintainability when compared with
traditional RDBMSs, but the literature has little to say with regards as to which is the
more maintainable. Some authors [50, 87] point in the direction of the ease of use of web
interfaces and the readiness of tools. In that sense, Couchbase and Neo4j are prominent
examples of easy to use and setup databases. On the other hand, MongoDB and HBase
are known to be hard to install [89, 90] or to confuse first users, thus limiting ease of use.
Further research can and should be developed in this area so as to be able to truly compare
the maintainability of NoSQL solutions.
When it comes to the performance and execution of different types of operations, NoSQL
databases are divided mostly into two categories: read and write optimized [21, 91]. That
means that, in part, regardless of the system type and records, the database has an opti-
mization that is granted by its mechanisms used for storage, organization and retrieval
of data. For example, Cassandra is known for being very highly optimized during exe-
cution of writes (inserts) and is not able to show the same performance during reads
[21, 91]. The database achieves this by using a cache for write operations (updates
are immediately written to a logfile, then cached in memory and only later written
to disk, making the insertion process itself faster). In general, Column Store and Key-
Value databases use more memory to store their data, some of those being completely
in-memory (and, hence, completely unsuited for other attributes such as durability).
Document Stores, on the other hand, are considered as being more read optimized.
This behavior resembles that of relational databases, where data loading and organi-
zation is slower, with the advantage of better preparing the system for future reads.
Examples of this are MongoDB and Couchbase. If one compares most Column Store
databases, such as Cassandra, to the document-based NoSQL landscape, with regards
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 16 of 26
to read-performance, then the latter wins. This has been seen in numerous works such
as [51, 54] and [26]. We should also consider that databases such as MongoDB and
Couchbase are considered more enterprise solutions with a set of mechanisms and
functionality besides traditional key-value retrieval, which is mostly used not only by
Key-Value stores but also by Column Store databases. This impacts performance signifi-
cantly, as the need for additional functionality is usually associated with high performance
Much work has been done with regards to performance testing of databases. Since
NoSQL is constantly changing, past evaluations quickly become obsolete, but recent eval-
uations have been performed, some of which we now enumerate. In [51], a performance
overview is given for Cassandra, HBase, MongoDB, OrientDB and Redis. The conclu-
sions are that Redis is particularly well suited for all kinds of workloads (although this
result should be taken lightly, since the database has many trade-offs with other qual-
ity attributes), that Cassandra performs very well for write/update scenarios, that overall
OrientDB performs poorly when tested in this scenario and that HBase deals poorly
with update queries. In [33], MongoDB and CouchDB are tested in a medical archiving
scenario, with MongoDB showing better performance. In [92], MongoDB is shown to per-
form poorly for CRUD (create, read, update and delete) bulk operations when compared
with PostgreSQL. Regarding write-heavy scenarios, a real-world enterprise scenario is
presented in [35], where Cassandra, Couchbase and MongoDB are compared with MS
SQL Server. In a four-node environment, Cassandra outperforms the NoSQL competition
greatly (which is expected, since it is a write-optimized database), but is outperformed
by a single-node MS SQL Server instance. Less recent, but also relevant, is the work pre-
sented in [26, 27], where Cassandra, Couchbase, MongoDB and Aerospike are tested.
Aerospike is shown to have the better performance, with Cassandra coming in as second
in terms of read-throughput, and Couchbase in terms of write-throughput. Rabl et al. [25]
compared Voldemort, Redis, HBase, Cassandra, MySQL Cluster and VoltDB with regards
to throughput, scalability and disk usage, and noted that while Cassandra’s throughput
dominated most tests, Voldemort exhibits a good balance between read and write perfor-
mance, competing with the other databases. The authors also note that VoltDB had the
worst performance and HBase’s throughput is low (although it scales better than most
other databases).
In conclusion, performance highly depends on the database architecture. Column Store
databases, such as Cassandra, are usually more oriented towards writing operations,
whereas document based databases are more read-oriented. This last group of databases
is also generally more feature-rich, bearing more resemblance to the traditional relational
model, thus tending to have a bigger performance penalty. Experiments have been vali-
dating this theory and we can conclude that, in contrast with some of the other quality
attributes studied in this article, performance is definitely not lacking in terms of research
and evaluation.
Reliability concerns the system’s probability of operating without failures for a given
period of time [49]. The higher the reliability, the less likely it is that the system fails.
Recently, Domaschka et al., in [49], have proposed a taxonomy for describing distributed
databases with regards to their reliability and availability. Since reliability is significantly
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 17 of 26
harder to define than availability (as it depends on the context of the application require-
ments), the authors suggest that software architects consider the following two questions:
“(1) How are concurrent writes to the same item resolved?; (2) What is the consistency
experienced by clients?”. With these in mind, and by using their taxonomy, we can see
that systems which use single-version techniques, such as Redis, Couchbase, MongoDB
and Neo4j, all perform online write conflict resolution detection, being good picks for a
reliable system in the sense that they answer question (1) with reliable options. Regarding
question (2), MongoDB, CouchDB, Neo4J, Cassandra and HBase all provide strong con-
sistency guarantees. Thus, in order to achieve strong consistency guarantees and good
concurrent write conflict resolution, as proposed by the authors, one should look at
systems which have both these characteristics - MongoDB and Neo4j.
In conclusion, in spite of reliability being an important quality attribute, we have found
that there is little focus in current literature about this topic, and, therefore, are limited in
our answers to this research question.
Robustness is concerned with the ability of the database to cope with errors during exe-
cution [93]. Relational technology is known for its robustness, but many questions still
arise when such a topic is discussed in the context of NoSQL [4]. If, from one point
of view, one might consider that NoSQL databases are more robust due to their repli-
cation (i.e. crashes are “faded out” by appropriate replication and consensus algorithms
[94]), from another, lack of code maturity and extensive testing might make NoSQL less
robust in general [4, 12]. Few [12, 95] has been written on this subject, although there
have been some real world studies where the impact of NoSQL on a system’s robust-
ness was considered (even if only indirectly). In [88], Han experiments with MongoDB
as a possible replacement for a traditional RDBMS in an air quality monitoring scenario.
With regards to robustness, the author notes that as cluster scale and workloads increase,
robustness becomes a more pressing issue (i.e. problems become more evident). Ranjan,
in [95], studies Big Data platforms and notes that lack of robustness is a question in Big
Data scheduling platforms and, in particular, in the NoSQL (Hadoop) case. In 2011, the
authors of [12] postulated that robustness would be an issue for NoSQL, as the technol-
ogy was new and needed testing. Neo4j is seen by some as a robust graph-based database
[96, 97]. Lior et al. [98] reviewed security issues in NoSQL databases and found that
Cassandra and MongoDB were subject to Denial of Service attacks, which can be seen
as a system with a lack of robustness. Similarly, Manoj [77] presents a comparative table
of features for Cassandra, MongoDB and HBase, where HBase is identified as having
an intrinsic single point of failure that needs to be overcome by explicitly using failover
clustering. Lastly, in [87], the authors claim Cassandra is robust due to Facebook’s con-
tribution to its development and the fact that it is used as one of the backends of the
social network.
Overall, not much can be concluded for each individual database in terms of robustness.
A benchmark for robustness is currently lacking in the NoSQL ecosystem, and software
engineers looking for the most robust database would benefit from research into this
area. The most up to date information and research indicates that more popular and used
databases are more robust, although in general these systems are seen as less robust than
their relational counterparts when tested in practice.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 18 of 26
Scalability concerns a system’s ability to deal with increasing workloads [1]. In the con-
text of databases, it may be defined as the change in performance when new nodes are
added, or hardware is improved [99]. NoSQL databases have been developed specifically
to target scenarios where scalability is very important. These systems rely on horizontal
and “elastic” scalability, by adding more nodes to a system instead of upgrading hardware
[3, 4, 9]. The term “elastic” refers to elasticity, which is a characterization of the way a
cluster reacts to the addition or removal of nodes [99].
In [18], the authors compared Cassandra and HBase, improving upon previous work.
They concluded that both databases scale linearly with different read and write perfor-
mances. They also provided a more in-depth analysis at Cassandra’s scalability, noticing
how performing horizontal scalability with this platform leads to less performance hassles
than performing vertical scalability.
In [99], the authors measure the elasticity and scalability of Cassandra, HBase and Mon-
goDB. They showed surprise by identifying “superlinear speedups for clusters of size 24”
when using Cassandra, stating that “it is almost as if Cassandra uses better algorithms
for large cluster sizes”. For clusters of sizes 6 and 12, their results show HBase the fastest
competitor with stable performance. Regarding elasticity, they found that HBase gives the
best results, stabilizing the database significantly faster than Cassandra and MongoDB.
Rabl et al. [25] studied the scalability (and other attributes) of Cassandra, Voldemort,
HBase, VoltDB, Redis and MySQL cluster. They noted the linear scalability of Cassan-
dra, HBase and Voldemort, noting, however, that Cassandra’s latency was “peculiarly
high” and that Voldemort’s was stable. HBase, while the worst of these databases in terms
of throughput, scaled better than the rest. Regarding the different scalability capabili-
ties of the databases themselves, Cassandra, HBase and Riak all support the addition of
machines during live operation Key-value databases, such as Aerospike and Voldemort,
are also easier to scale, as the data model allows for better distribution of data across sev-
eral nodes [12]. In particular, Voldemort was designed to be highly scalable, being the
major backend behind LinkedIn.
Further studies regarding scalability are needed in literature. It is clear that NoSQL
databases are scalable, but the question of which scale the most, or with the best per-
formance, is still left unanswered. Nevertheless, we can conclude that popular choices
for highly scalable systems are Cassandra and HBase. One must also take notice that
scalability will be influenced by the particular choice of configuration parameters.
Stabilization Time and Recovery Time
Besides availability, there are other failover characteristics which determine the behav-
ior of a system and might impact system stability. In the study made in [27], which we
have already covered, the authors measure the time it takes for several NoSQL systems
to recover from a node failure - the recovery time -, as well as the time it takes for the
system to stabilize when that node rejoins the cluster -the stabilization time. They find
that MongoDB has the best recovery time, followed by Aerospike (when in synchronous
change propagation mode), with Couchbase having values an order of magnitude slower
and Cassandra two orders of magnitude slower that MongoDB. Regarding the time to sta-
bilize on node up, all systems perform well (<1ms) with the exception of MongoDB and
Aerospike. The former takes a long 31 seconds to recover to stabilize on node reentry,
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 19 of 26
and Aerospike, in synchronous mode takes 3 seconds. These results tend to indicate that
MongoDB and Aerospike are good picks if one is looking for good recovery times, but
that these choices should be taken with care, such that when a node reenters the system,
it does not affect its stability.
Overall, the topic of failover is highly dependent of configuration and desired prop-
erties and should be studied more thoroughly (we note this as part of our future
work). The current literature is limited and does not allow for very general and broad
Results and discussion
By gathering all the information we presented in the previous sections, we tried to estab-
lish a comprehensive summary table that indicates which database best suits each quality
attribute. Each column in Table 2 represents a NoSQL database, and each row one of the
studied software engineering quality attributes. A 5-point scale ranging from “Great for
this quality attribute” ( +) to “Bad for this quality attribute” ( ) is presented. This allows
for a direct comparison among databases. For instance, Cassandra is write-performance
oriented, even more than Couchbase (hence their difference in label in the table). We
assigned worse grades when a database is not an ideal pick, according to our literature
revision. This doesn’t mean that the database renders a given quality attribute unattain-
able, but that, according to the current literature, it is not the best when compared to the
others. In cases where we were unsure what was the correct answer, we used the question
mark symbol (?).
We used the criteria described in each of the previous sections to quantify the
databases. Regarding availability, the downtime was used as a primary measure, together
with relevant studies [5, 27]. Consistency was graded according to two essential criteria:
1) how much the database can provide ACID-semantics consistency and 2) how much
Table 2 Summary table of different quality attributes studied for popular databases
Aerospike Cassandra Couchbase CouchDB HBase MongoDB Voldemort
Availability + + + + – – +
Consistency + + + + ++
Durability + + + + +
Maintainability + + + – –
Read-Performance ++++
Recovery Time ++? ? +?
Reliability ++ + +?
Robustness + + ?
Scalability + + + ++
Stabilization Time + + ? ? ?
Write-Performance +++++
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 20 of 26
can consistency be fine-tuned. Durability was measured according to the use of single or
multi version concurrency control schemes, the way that data are persisted to disk (e.g. if
data is always asynchronously persisted, this hinders durability), and studies that specif-
ically targeted durability [26]. Regarding maintainability, the criteria were the currently
available literature studies of real world experiments, the ease of setup and use, as well as
the accessibility of tools to interact with the database. For read and write performance,
we considered recent studies [27] and the fine-tuning of each database, as noted in the
previous sections. Reliability is graded according to the taxonomy presented in [49] and
by looking at synchronous propagation modes (databases which do not support them
tend to be less reliable, as Domaschka et. al note). Database robustness was assessed with
the real world experiments carried by researchers, as well as the available documentation
on possible tendency of databases to have problems dealing with crashes or attacks (e.g.
elasticity, its increase in performance due to horizontal scaling, and the ease of on-line
scalability (i.e. is the live addition of nodes supported?). For recovery time and stabiliza-
tion time, highly related to availability, we based our classification on the results shown
in [27] (implying that our grading of these attributes is mostly limited to their particular
study and should be taken with apprpriate care). We looked at the databases described in
Section ‘Evaluated NoSQL databases’.
By analyzing Table 2, we can see that Aerospike suffers from data loss issues, affecting
its durability, and it also has issues with stabilization time (in particular in synchronous
mode). Cassandra is a multi-purpose database (in particular due to its configurable
consistency properties) which mostly lacks read performance (since it is tuned for write-
heavy workloads). CouchDB provides similar technology to MongoDB, but is better
suited for situations where availability is needed. Couchbase provides good availability
capabilities (coupled with good recovery and stabilization times), making it a good can-
didate for situations where failover is bound to happen. HBase has similar capabilities to
Cassandra, but is unable to cope with high loads, limiting its availability in these scenar-
ios, and is also the worst database in terms of robustness (this is mostly due to research
seen in [77, 95]). MongoDB is the database that mostly resembles the classical relational
use case scenario - it is better suited for reliable, durable, consistent and read-oriented use
cases. It is somewhat lacking in terms of availability, scalability and write-performance,
and it is very hindered by its stabilization time (which is also one of the reasons for its
low availability). Furthermore, it is not as efficient during write operations. Lastly, we lack
some information on Voldemort, but find it to be a poor pick in terms of maintainability.
It is, however, a good pick for durable, write-heavy scenarios, and provides a good balance
between read and write performance (in line with [25]). We should highlight that there
are more quality attributes that should be focused on, which we intend to do in future
work, and, thus, that this table does not intend to show that “one database is better than
another”, but, rather, that some database is better for a particular use case scenario where
these attributes are needed.
Many software quality attributes are highly interdependent. For example, availability
and consistency, in the context of the CAP theorem, are often polarized. Similarly, avail-
ability, stabilization time and recovery time are highly related, since low stabilization
and recovery time are bound to hinder availability. With this in mind, there are several
interesting findings in the summary table we have presented.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 21 of 26
Availability, stabilization time and recovery time, as mentioned, are highly related soft-
ware quality attributes. In this sense, it is interesting to note that polarizing results are
found for different databases. Software engineers looking at the availability software qual-
ity attribute should note that although Aerospike, Cassandra, Couchbase, CouchDB and
Voldemort all provide high availability, some of these databases are not ideal picks for sit-
uations where a fast recovery time is needed. Indeed, of these databases, only Aerospike
and MongoDB have a “Great” rating, with Cassandra having the worst possible grading.
On the other hand, Aerospike and MongoDB have poor stabilization times, but Cassandra
has a “Good” rating for this quality attribute. Couchbase, another highly available system,
although not having any “Great” rating in these two quality attributes, has a “Good” rat-
ing. Thus, for systems which desire high availability with a balance of stabilization and
recovery time, Couchbase is an ideal pick.
It is interesting to note that Aerospike and Cassandra achieve high availability and high
consistency ratings. A naive application of the CAP theorem to distributed systems and
NoSQL systems would tend to indicate that both of these quality attributes would have
to ultimately be traded off. Nevertheless, as other authors have pointed out [41, 44–46],
this is not the case, and our table reflects it. Systems such as Cassandra allow for these
properties to be traded off on a query basis. This, ultimately combined with the other
characteristics of each database, result in high ratings in both these quality attributes.
If inspecting only the availability and scalability quality attributes, it becomes clear that
they are highly correlated. Nearly all systems with high availability also have high scal-
ability. The only exception to this observation being CouchDB (this database does not
support native partitioning, hindering its scalability). In cases where availability is lim-
ited, results are somewhat polarized: HBase achieves high scalability, whereas MongoDB
is also hindered in terms of its scalability (this can easily be traced to MongoDB’s locking
mechanism; indeed, as we have mentioned, this database is the most similar one to the
typical relational use case scenario).
There are other highly correlated quality attributes which can be surprising. For
instance, there is a high correlation between scalability and write performance. When one
of these quality attributes is tending towards being “Great”, the other is too; similarly, when
one tends to be “Bad”, the other does too. This result provides insight into how scalability
is achieved in many NoSQL systems: write optimizations (particularly found in column-
store databases) help achieve scalability, and systems with poor write performance tend to
be fairly limited in its scalability. Contrasting with this positive correlation, it seems that
read performance is slightly negatively correlated with scalability: databases with high
scalability tend to have higher write performance than read performance. This could be
due to the fact that many of these databases rely on partitioning as an efficient way to
scale, and the fact that partitioning improves write performance (through parallel writes)
much more than it does read performance (nevertheless, this would be interesting to
study as future work). Consistency and recovery time are also quality attributes that share
a high degree of correlation. This result is also intuitive, since systems that react quickly to
the loss of a node will tend to have fewer conflicts and, thus, fewer consistency problems.
Still on the topic of consistency, it shares some similarity with robustness, in our table.
Indeed, robust systems tend to also be consistent ones (notable exceptions are HBase and
MongoDB). This relationship, however, is probably due to the nature of each database and
not to any particular reason (i.e. there is no intrinsic relationship between consistency
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 22 of 26
and robustness). Finally, reliability and write performance are often in polarized positions
(e.g., Aerospike has “Good” write performance but low reliability).
There are some quality attributes for which no “Great” rating has been attributed.
Indeed, in terms of durability, maintainability, robustness and stabilization time, no
NoSQL system was found to achieve optimal results. This indicates directions of future
work for NoSQL databases. Some of these ratings can be explained due to the infancy
of these systems – robustness and maintainability are properties that evolve with time,
as systems mature, bugs are found and new functionality is added. These two quality
attributes have the worst overall ratings and reveal weaknesses of NoSQL systems.
Another point of interest that becomes clear with the summary table is that while some
quality attributes do not have a “Great” rating, there are others for which no “Bad” rating
is given: availability, consistency, maintainability, reliability, scalability, read and write per-
formance. Some of these quality attributes, such as consistency and scalability, are actually
found to have generally high ratings. This implies that these quality attributes are among
the key attributes offered by NoSQL databases. It is no surprise, then, that availability,
consistency and scalability, some of the three major reasons for the initial development of
NoSQL databases [63], are among these attributes.
Although performance is often considered an isolated quality attribute, read and write
performance can be different. This difference is reflected in our table, and it is interest-
ing to analyse the performance quality attribute as a whole with the data presented in
the table. Most NoSQL databases polarize on performance characteristics, either having
high ratings on read or write performance (Cassandra, Couchbase, HBase and Mon-
goDB), but there are some exceptions. Aerospike provides a balance between write and
read performance without reaching the “Great” rating in either of these quality attributes.
On the other hand, Voldemort provides high write performance (“Great”) and good read
performance (“Good”), while Couchbase offers good write performance (“Good”), but
high read performance (“Great”). This implies that software engineers can look to Volde-
mort, Couchbase and Aerospike as “balanced” systems in terms of performance, with
Voldemort and Couchbase tending slightly towards more specific write or read scenarios,
The only quality attributes where there are neither “Great” or “Bad” ratings are durabil-
ity and maintainability. Indeed, it would make little sense for a NoSQL system to have bad
durability, since this is a key attribute of most database solutions. On the other hand, the
trade-offs associated with NoSQL often mean that durability must be sacrificed, resulting
in no system achieving the best durability yet (this is a clear are for future work in NoSQL
In this article we described the main characteristics and types of NoSQL technology while
approaching different aspects that highly contribute to the use of those systems. We also
presented the state of the art of non-relational technology by describing some of the
most relevant studies and performance tests and their conclusions, after surveying a vast
number of publications since NoSQL’s birth. This state of the art also intended to give
a time-based perspective to the evolution of NoSQL research, highlighting four clearly
distinct periods: 1) Database type characterization (where NoSQL was in its infancy and
researchers tried to categorize databases into different sets); 2) Performance evaluations,
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 23 of 26
with the advent of YCSB and a surge in NoSQL popularity; 3) Real-world scenarios and
criticism to some interpretations of the CAP theorem; and 4) An even bigger focus on
applicability and a reinvigorated focus on the validation of benchmarking software.
We concluded that although there have been a variety of studies and evaluations of
NoSQL technology, there is still not enough information to verify how suited each non-
relational database is in a specific scenario or system. Moreover, each working system
differs from another and all the necessary functionality and mechanisms highly affect
the database choice. Sometimes there is no possibility of clearly stating the best database
solution. Furthermore, we tried to find the best databases on a quality attribute perspec-
tive, an approach still not found in current literature – this is our main contribution. In
the future, we expect that NoSQL databases will be more used in real enterprise systems,
allowing for more information and user experience available to conclude the most appro-
priate use of NoSQL according to each quality attribute and further improve this initial
As we have seen, NoSQL is still an in-development field, with many questions and a
shortage of definite answers. Its technology is ever-increasing and ever-changing, render-
ing even recent benchmarks and performance evaluations obsolete. There is also a lack
of studies which focus on use-case oriented scenarios or software engineering quality
attributes (we believe ours is the first work on this subject). All of these reasons make it
difficult to find the best pick for each of the quality attributes we chose in this work, as
well as others. The summary table we presented makes it clear that there is a current need
for a broad study of quality attributes in order to better understand the NoSQL ecosys-
tem, and it would be interesting to conduct research in this domain. When more studies
and with more consistent results have been performed, a more thorough survey of the
literature can be done, and with clearer, more concise results.
Software architects and engineer can look to the summary table presented in this
article if looking for help understanding the wide array of offerings in the NoSQL
world from a quality attribute based overview. This table also brings to light some hid-
den or unexpected relationships between quality attributes in the NoSQL world. For
instance, scalability is highly related to the write performance, but not necessarily the
read performance. Additionally, broad sets of quality attributes that are highly related (e.g.
availability, stabilization time and recovery time) can be individually studied, so that the
Our literature review allows us to establish future directions on research regarding a
quality-attribute based approach to NoSQL databases. It is our belief that the develop-
ment of a framework for assessing most of these quality attributes would greatly benefit
the lifes of software engineers and architects alike. In particular, research is currently lack-
ing in terms of Reliability, Robustness, Durability and Maintainability, with most work in
literature focusing on raw performance. Future work in this area, with the development of
such a framework for quality attribute evaluation, would undoubtedly benefit the NoSQL
research in the long term.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Authors’ contributions
JRL surveyed most of the literature. BC, JB and MV helped identifying and evaluating the quality attributes, as well as
finding the appropriate NoSQL databases to study, guiding the research and iteratively reviewing and revising the work.
Lourenço et al. Journal of Big Data (2015) 2:18 Page 24 of 26
PC provided an initial case study from which this work originally sprouted, and helped identifying the evaluated quality
attributes. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This research would not have been made possible without support and funding of the FEED - Free Energy Data and iCIS -
Intelligent Computing in the Internet Services (CENTRO-07 - ST24 - FEDER - 002003) projects, to which we are extremely
Author details
1CISUC, Department of Informatics Engineering, University of Coimbra, Pólo II – Pinhal de Marrocos, 3030-290 Coimbra,
Portugal. 2Critical Software, Parque Industrial de Taveiro, lote 49, 3045-504 Coimbra, Portugal. 3ISEC – Superior Institute of
Engineering of Coimbra, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, 3030-190 Coimbra, Portugal.
Received: 2 June 2015 Accepted: 27 July 2015
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... Many types of data modeling have been developed, starting from the relational data model to the graph data model [3], [4]. It is in line with the development of the structured relational database management as well as non-relational large-scale databases included in the big data process [8]. Currently, the management of non-relational data that uses not only SQL (NoSQL) has replaced database management with SQL that dominated the computation of relational database management for decades [8], [9]. ...
... It is in line with the development of the structured relational database management as well as non-relational large-scale databases included in the big data process [8]. Currently, the management of non-relational data that uses not only SQL (NoSQL) has replaced database management with SQL that dominated the computation of relational database management for decades [8], [9]. ...
... In general, NoSQL's approach is different from SQL, especially in terms of data storage and access [9]. It is implemented using four data modeling categories, namely keyvalue based, document-based, column-based, and graph-based [3], [8], [10]- [13]. By using this model, NoSQL is not limited to only ease analytic processing, but also handle transactional processes managed by the relational data model [3], [10], [14]. ...
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Data management technology that continues to develop and boost the popularity of document-based not only structured query language (NoSQL) has become the most-used data model. Behind its popularity, data management technology offers an intriguing advantage, namely flexible data storage, whether in terms of data forms and sizes or structured and unstructured data. However, this data modeling flexibility has its challenge due to its impact on more complex scheme creations, without being accompanied by any need-based design patterns. This study aims to model relational data on the document-based NoSQL at its conceptual, logical, and physical levels. The conceptual design was developed based on processes, rules, and business requirements. The logical and physical designs were developed based on the extended references and computed design patterns determined from the operating workload. The relational data model design on the document-based NoSQL was successfully formed using the entity relationship diagram (ERD) with Chen notation for the conceptual, and collection relationship diagram (CRD) for both logical and physical levels. The conceptual design focused on the representation of entities, attributes, and relationships. Unlike the conceptual design which tends to be abstract, the focus of the logical design is on the collection schema (embedded and reference) representation, including design patterns influenced by the formation of relationships. Furthermore, the focus of physical level design is to represent the schema in a more concrete form. The physical design is almost the same as the logical one, the difference lies only in the detail addition for data types and structures. The evaluation of data model designs was also carried out for each level. This study contributes to designing a data model with the advantage of read-intensive capability since a joint operation among collections is not required and the computation process recurrence for derivative attributes is not necessary.
... In their survey, Nayak et al. (Nayak et al., 2013) analyse the different types and characteristics of SQL and NoSQL systems, while in (Mohamed et al., 2014;Sahatqija et al., 2018), SQL/NoSQL data stores are compared in terms of main features, such as scalability, query language, security issues, etc. Along the same lines, (Jatana et al., 2012) provides a general comparison of relational and non-relational data stores, while (Lourenco et al., 2015) reviews NoSQL data stores in terms of the consistency and durability of the data stored, as well as with respect to their performance and scalability; the results indicate that MongoDB can be the successor of SQL databases, since it provides good stability and consistency of data. ...
Conference Paper
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The amount of textual data produced nowadays is constantly increasing as the number and variety of both new and reproduced textual information created by humans and (lately) also by bots is unprecedented. Storing, handling and querying such high volumes of textual data have become more challenging than ever and both research and industry have been using various alternatives, ranging from typical Relational Database Management Systems to specialised text engines and NoSQL databases, in an effort to cope with the volume. However, all these decisions are, largely, based on experience or personal preference for one system over another, since there is no performance comparison study that compares the available solutions regarding full-text search and retrieval. In this work, we fill this gap in the literature by systematically comparing four popular databases in full-text search scenarios and reporting their performance across different datasets, full-text search operators and parameters. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to go beyond the comparison of characteristics , like expressiveness of the query language or popularity, and actually compare popular relational, NoSQL, and textual data stores in terms of retrieval efficiency for full-text search. Moreover, our findings quantify the differences in full-text search performance between the examined solutions and reveal both anticipated and less anticipated results.
... Traditional databases cannot satisfy the storage and query of these unstructured data. Literature mainly proposed that NoSQL database was proposed at the end of the twentieth century, but at that time this kind of database could not support the traditional standard SQL interface (Lourenço et al. 2015). It was not until the early 2010s that this database began to support a standard SQL interface and was called a distributed database. ...
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With the continuous development of science and technology, we have fully entered the information age, people's entertainment life is becoming more and more abundant, and the Internet has also provided people with a lot of convenience. The advent of the Internet age means that more and more various kinds of data are appearing, and the situation is becoming more and more abundant. The use of traditional relational databases can no longer store these data, nor can it be queried. With the continuous development of voice technology, database technology based on NoSQL has become a research hotspot. The availability of NoSQL databases is very high, the scalability is also very high, and the efficiency is very high when processing data. Based on the development of 5G networks and the development of big data technology, this research proposes a brand-new business architecture. This architecture can use the network to store data on the basis of massive data. At the same time, we also described the business scenario, providing a new idea for more intelligent education services. We use this model for teaching in schools, and we can transmit some spoken language resources to the school through the Internet for students to use for learning. Nowadays, the application range of AI technology and intelligent technology has become more and more extensive, and these technologies have also been applied in the education field. We can apply this brand-new technology in teaching to promote the development of teaching and improve students’ enthusiasm and learning effect.
... This RDBMS was file-based and lacked a SQL interface. NoSQL, often known as non-relational databases, was first introduced in 2009 by Eric Evans [4,5]. It is recognized as a promising database to handle massive data. ...
... Comparison between SQL and NoSQL both databases[12] ...
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Data has always been the company's most valuable resource because it can be used for analysis, decision-making, and judgement. Hard data handling necessitates the use of complicated cache and accessibility concepts. The effectiveness of SQL and NoSQL database systems for producing scientific data is examined in this study. SQL databases and NoSQL databases are the most popular and structured types of database solutions. Another name for the SQL database is RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). Associations or tables are used to organize the data. A NoSQL database is a non-relational database management system. NoSQL databases, a new type of database system, were created to address this issue by providing an unstructured platform and scalability for large data applications. The term "NoSQL" refers to more than just SQL. Wide column stores, documents, graph databases, and key-value pairs are a few NoSQL database types that do not have the necessary standard structure. Additionally, in RDBMS, it might scale horizontally rather than vertically. To compare SQL and NoSQL databases, the data is organized in unstructured tables or relationships. Both of them are open source. The experiment assessed and supported database loading, response, and retrieval times for both SQL and NoSQL databases to discover if a database is smoother, more efficient, and performant.
... We suggest a scale based on Lourenço et al. [71] to interpret the quality scores. The scale subdivides the quality score into five groups (i.e. ...
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Trustworthy data in the Industrial Internet of Things are paramount to ensure correct strategic decision-making and accurate actions on the shop floor. However, the enormous amount of industrial data generated by a variety of sources (e.g. machines and sensors) is often of poor quality (e.g. unreliable sensor readings). Research suggests that certain characteristics of data sources (e.g. battery-powered power supply and wireless communication) contribute to this poor data quality. Nonetheless, to date, much of the research on data trustworthiness has only focused on data values to determine trustworthiness. Consequently, we propose to pay more attention to the characteristics of data sources in the context of data trustworthiness. Thus, this article presents an approach for assessing Industrial Internet of Things data sources to determine their data trustworthiness. The approach is based on a meta-model decomposing data sources into data stores (e.g. databases) and providers (e.g. sensors). Furthermore, the approach provides a quality model comprising quality-related characteristics of data stores to determine their data trustworthiness. Moreover, a catalogue containing properties of data providers is presented to infer the trustworthiness of their provided data. An industrial case study revealed a moderate correlation between the data source assessments of the proposed approach and experts.
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NoSQL databases are widely used to handle and store data for large scale applications. Database system performance is an important quality attribute to develop software and applications because it is related to the other qualitative attributes such as availability, reliability, functionality and so on. There are no tools or software in the market to accurately measure the performance of NoSQL databases. As a result of having various levels of performance within NoSQL databases, it is important to evaluate and compare their performances to identify potential strategies. Because the evaluation process is subject to various degrees of expert opinions and preferences, it is difficult to assign the performance priorities and specify how NoSQL databases can be ranked. We propose a Fuzzy evaluation scheme that provides evaluation degrees with more precise. This scheme depends on conducting the pairwise comparisons between the alternatives in terms certain criterion. This paper implement fuzzy scheme and preliminary results will be showed clearly by total performance for each database. The numerical values are represented in the results to be easier during the ranking. This study allows the developers and system analysts to specify the most suitable database due to the application needs.
NoSQL databases have become an important component of many big data and real-time web applications. Their distributed nature and scalability make them an ideal data storage repository for a variety of use cases. While NoSQL databases are delivered with a default ''off-the-shelf'' configuration, they offer configuration settings to adjust a database's behavior and performance to a specific use case and environment. The abundance and oftentimes imperceptible inter-dependencies of configuration settings make it difficult to optimize and performance-tune a NoSQL system. There is no one-size-fits-all configuration and therefore the workload, the physical design, and available resources need to be taken into account when optimizing the configuration of a NoSQL database. This work explores Machine Learning as a means to automatically tune a NoSQL database for optimal performance. Using Random Forest and Gradient Boosting Decision Tree Machine Learning algorithms, multiple Machine Learning models were fitted with a training dataset that incorporates properties of the NoSQL physical configuration (replication and sharding). The best models were then employed as surrogate models to optimize the Database Management System's configuration settings for throughput and latency using a Black-box Optimization algorithm. Using an Apache Cassandra database, multiple experiments were carried out to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, even across varying physical configurations. The tuned DBMS configurations yielded throughput improvements of up to 4%, read latency reductions of up to 43%, and write latency reductions of up to 39% when compared to the default configuration settings.
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Testing the graphical user interface (GUI) of a software product is important to ensure the quality of the system and therefore to improve the user satisfaction of using the software. Using tools to support the testing process solves the problems of the manual testing which is tedious and time consuming. Capture and replay tools are commonly used in GUI testing. In this paper we compare five open source capture and replay tools, namely Abbot, Jacareto, JFCUnit, Marathon and Pounder, in terms of ease of use and capture and replay capabilities. In order to compare the tools, we defined comparison characteristics and after evaluating each tool, we selected the one that showed the best results in almost all criteria. The results of our study may serve as guidance for any novice tester or company that pretends to automate the GUI testing process using open source capture and replay tools.
Conference Paper
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A big data benchmark suite is needed eagerly by customers, industry and academia recently. A number of prominent works in last several years are reviewed, their characteristics are introduced and shortcomings are analyzed. The authors also provide some suggestions on building the expected benchmark, including: component based benchmarks as well as end-to-end benchmarks should be used together to test distinct tools and test the system as a whole; workloads should be enriched with complex analytics to encompass different application scenarios; metrics other than performance metrics should also be considered.
Conference Paper
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The continuous information growth in current organizations has created a need for adaptation and innovation in the field of data storage. Alternative technologies such as NoSQL have been heralded as the solution to the ever- growing data requirements of the corporate world, but these claims have not been backed by many real world studies. Cur- rent benchmarks evaluate database performance by executing specific queries over mostly synthetic data. These artificial scenarios, then, prevent us from easily drawing conclusions for the real world and appropriately characterize the performance of databases in a real system. To counter this, we used a real world enterprise system with real corporate data to evaluate the performance characteristics of popular NoSQL databases and compare them to SQL counterparts. In particular, we present one of the first write-heavy evaluations using enterprise soft- ware and big data. We tested Cassandra, MongoDB, Couchbase Server and MS SQL Server and compared their performance while handling demanding and large write requests from a real company with an electrical measurement enterprise system.
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For over forty years, relational databases have been the leading model for data storage, retrieval and management. However, due to increasing needs for scalability and performance, alternative systems have started being developed, namely NoSQL technology. With increased interest in NoSQL technology, as well as more use case scenarios, over the last few years these databases have been more frequently evaluated and compared. It is necessary to find if all the possibilities and characteristics of non-relational technology have been disclosed. While most papers perform mostly performance evaluation using standard benchmarks, it is nevertheless important to notice that real world scenarios, with real enterprise data, do not function solely based on performance. In this paper, we have gathered a concise and up-to-date comparison of NoSQL engines, their most beneficial use case scenarios from the software engineer viewpoint, their advantages and drawbacks by surveying the currently available literature.
The aim of this paper is to describe a meaning to validate a previously proposed benchmark method targeted at NoSQL databases. The method described here is based on a statistical analysis of the results given by the benchmarking software. The reason for proposing such a validation method is the opinion of the author that any benchmarking methodology should be both based on a rigorous algorithm and verified in a thorough way (by validation and by testing) before practical use.
Recently, most one-time password authentication systems are based on the traditional relational database RDBMS for storing data. However, the capability of the system will slow down when the program call the database frequently, which cannot satisfy the users’ response-speed request. In this paper, a novel OTP model, based on NoSQL and RDBMS combination, is presented. According to theoretical analysis and practical testing, it has been proved that the solution can effectively improve the response capability of OTP system and can also be used as the reference model of resemble systems.
In the last decade, a new class of data management systems collectively called NoSQL systems emerged and are now intensively developed. The main feature of these systems is that they abandon the relational data model and the SQL, do not fully support ACID transactions, and use distributed architecture (even though there are non-distributed NoSQL systems as well). As a result, such systems outperform the conventional SQL-oriented DBMSs in some applications; in addition, such systems are highly scalable under increasing workloads and huge amounts of data, which is important, in particular, for Web applications. Unfortunately, the absence of transactional semantics imposes certain constraints on the class of applications where NoSQL systems can be effectively used and the choice of a particular system significantly depends on the application. In this paper, a review of the main classes of NoSQL data management systems is given and examples of systems and applications where they can be used are discussed.
Conference Paper
Currently, most health care systems used among divisions in medical centers still adopt the Excel file format for a variety of scales statistics, such as the clinical self-care ability scale for Functional Independence Measure. Although people can further analyze Excel files using other statistical analysis software, such as SAS, SPSS, and STATA, they cannot effectively share the archived data in Excel among divisions. We propose to do format conversion on these data and store them in a database. As the collection of Excel files cannot be shared with ease, we plan to use HBase, a non-relational database, to further integrate data. The purpose of this paper is to construct complete import tools and solutions based on HBase to facilitate easy access of data in HBase. Besides, a visual interface is also used to manage HBase to implement user friendly client connection tools for the HBase database.