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Schema Design with MongoDB

Dwight Merriman (10gen)
Data: NoSQL Databases
Location: B118-119
Tags: nosql_nerd
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)

One of the challenges that comes with moving to MongoDB is figuring how to best model your data. While most developers have internalized the rules of thumb for designing schemas for RDBMSs, these rules don’t always apply to MongoDB. The simple fact that documents can represent rich, schema-free data structures means that we have a lot of viable alternatives to the standard, normalized, relational model. Not only that, MongoDB has several unique features, such as atomic updates and indexed array keys, that greatly influence the kinds of schemas that make sense. Understandably, this begets good questions:

  • Are foreign keys permissible, or is it better to represent one-to-many relations withing a single document?
  • Are join tables necessary, or is there another technique for building out many-to-many relationships?
  • What level of denormalization is appropriate?
  • How do my data modeling decisions affect the efficiency of updates and queries?

In this session, we’ll answer these questions and more, provide a number of data modeling rules of thumb, and discuss the tradeoffs of various data modeling strategies.

Photo of Dwight Merriman

Dwight Merriman

10gen

Dwight is CEO of 10gen which sponsors the open source MongoDB project. Dwight is an active MongoDB committer.

Dwight was cofounder of DoubleClick and CTO of DoubleClick for 10 years. Dwight is the original architect of the DoubleClick DART ad serving system.

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Comments

Picture of Meghan Gill
Meghan Gill
08/05/2011 6:44am PDT

I think that it was a modification on this deck: speakerdeck.com/u/kbanker/p... Hope this helps.

Andy Lim
08/02/2011 9:47am PDT

Are the slides for this session posted someplace?