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Bradley Holt:
Entity Relationships in a Document Database at ZendCon 2012 (Video & Slides)
November 19, 2012 @ 10:03:55

If you weren't able to attend this year's ZendCon conference and wanted to see Bradley Holt's talk about entity relationships and document databases, you're in luck - he's posted both the video and slides to his site. Here's his summary of the session:

Unlike relational databases, document databases like CouchDB and MongoDB do not directly support entity relationships. This talk will explore patterns of modeling one-to-many and many-to-many entity relationships in a document database. These patterns include using an embedded JSON array, relating documents using identifiers, using a list of keys, and using relationship documents. This talk will explore how these entity relationship patterns equate to how entities are joined in a relational database. We'll take a look at the relevant differences between document databases and relational databases. For example, document databases do not have tables, each document can have its own schema, there is no built-in concept of relationships between documents, views/indexes are queried directly instead of being used to optimize more generalized queries, a column within a result set can contain a mix of logical data types, and there is typically no support for transactions across document boundaries.

He also includes links to two of the tools he mentions in the talk - Doctrine CouchDB and the Doctrine MongoDB ORM.

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