Database Impedance Mismatches

Alex Popescu argues that document databases have an impedance mismatch with object-based software. He compares the situation to relational databases:

“One of the most often mentioned issues reported by software engineers working with relational databases from object-oriented languages is the object-relational impedance mismatch. Document databases adopters are saying that one benefit of document stores is that there is no impedance mismatch between the object and document worlds.

“I don’t think this is entirely true.”

Given that databases and in-memory representations of objects serve different purposes, I don’t think we’ll ever completely manage to do without mappers of some kind. (Otherwise we’d all be using Java Object Serialization as our database.)

However, to me at least it appears that of all database technologies, graph databases like InfoGrid have the smallest impedance mismatch: a graph of objects is fundamentally closer to what is happening in memory of an object-based application than any other representation (e.g. document-based / hierarchical / relational / key-value etc.)

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