RavenDB: An Introduction
RavenDB is a document-oriented Fully Transactional NoSQL Database. The very purpose of developing RavenDB was to due to the lack of any such database available which would work on Windows OS without causing any issues or significant changes. Various applications were available to handle document-based database however, there was nothing exclusively developed which is compatible with .NET framework until RavenDB.
Today, we will discuss RavenDB, its features and comparison with the similar database. This will certainly assist in understanding the good and bad side of RavenDB along with its usefulness to your document-oriented database. We know that databases are used to store a large amount of data in a systematic way.
There are different types of databases via software development over the years out of which the most common one used would be a relational database. In order to store and access data in a simpler approach, NoSQL was developed.
RavenDB and its Origin
RavenDB was developed by Oren Eini who is an independent consultant. RavenDB is an open source document-oriented NoSQL designed exclusively for .NET or windows platform. What is NoSQL and how it works? A simpler approach was needed to organize a high volume of data in an efficient way. This gave birth to a NoSQL database which precisely fulfills that purpose.
NoSQL allows developers to add new data on a real-time basis. There are different types of databases with respect to NoSQL and it will be used based on various requirements. Talking about the document-oriented database, it stores all related to a single object in a single document in JSON or XML format. By doing so, we can map objects in the database with ease.
Once the developer Oren Eini realized that document databases have wider applications and will be helpful to programmers all over the globe, his initial idea gave birth to RavenDB. With excellent features that we will discuss later, the .NET platform had another excellent tool to store and access document data at a faster rate.
Top Features RavenDB
RavenDB has a lot of functions and features. There is a subtle difference between functions and features. However, we will discuss all functions/features available with RavenDB to ensure that you are aware of what it offers and think if this is precisely what you need.
- Multiple Clients Support: RavenDB supports .NET, Java, Node.js, Python, Ruby, and Go platforms.
- Querying Data is Simplified: This systematic access tool has Raven Querying Language, full-text search, facets, spatial, copy and patching under this feature.
- Support multiple Indexes: Intelligent auto indexing, powerful static indexes, and indexing performance and map-reduce visualizes help in efficient indexing
- Extensions: Revision, expiration, attachments, subscriptions and distributed content will be tracked via extensions easily.
- Clusters in RavenDB: Clusters offer high availability, cluster-wide tasks with high availability, dynamic data distribution, operational stability, and cluster-wide transactions.
- Security: With excellent options like certification and encryption, the data stored is well secure.
- Monitoring: A constant watch on server dashboard, SNMP and real-time logging helps improve overall performance.
- Administration: Administration helps overall database with assistance from periodic backups, RAVENCLI, Administrator JS Console.
- Migration: In case of consumer requirement to migrate to a different database, RavenDB can be migrated without any issues to MSSQL, MySQL, MongoDB, and Cosmos DB
Along with these features, we need to know a bit about its functions too. This will be a deciding factor to use RavenDB or not. RavenDB is well known due to these functions:
- Management Studio
- Fully Transactional
- Multi-Model Architecture
- High Availability
- Ease of Use
- Designed with Care
These factors will certainly help understand the programmers about the importance of using RavenDB. One of the fastest and well-known document-oriented databases is RavenDB.
Differences between RavenDB and MongoDB
RavenDB and MongoDB are both document-oriented databases with their differences in features and functions.
Let's discuss these differences to see which one would be a better requirement from the programmer's perspective.
|Description||Document Store||.NET based Document Store|
|Implementation Language||.NET Languages||C++|
|Server Operating System||Linux, Windows||Linux, OS X, Solaris, Windows|
|APIs and other access methods||.NET, Java, Python, RESTful HTTP Client API||Proprietary Protocol using JSON|
|Replication Method||Master-master replication||Master-slave replication|
|User Concepts||Access control on document level using Authorization Bundle||Access rights for users and roles|
|Applications||E-commerce, financial, CRM, travel, healthcare and more||IoT, Mobile, Real-time analytics|
|Specific Features||Self-tuning, Built-in Auto Indexing, Automatic Batching, Client-server Chatter Protection and more||Document data model, distributed system design, fully automated cloud service and more|
Even with these differences, both the databases have their pros and cons. A smart programmer will certainly understand how to explore and exploit the advantages of their needs. Both RavenDB and MongoDB have their respective market value growing at a steady pace.
Pros and Cons of RavenDB
We have discussed almost everything about this excellent data storing tool however, we need to know how it benefits or creates disadvantages for us.
We will talk about the pros and cons of RavenDB to see the disadvantages can be overcome or doesn’t affect your work in any way. This information is certainly required for any programmer before proceeding to work on RavenDB.
Pros of using RavenDB:
- One of the best .NET client API with extensibility which helps with an easier learning curve.
- Developed as Document Store.
- Offers features like Reduce, Map, and Index.
- Default JSON format storage.
- Excellent performance.
- Designed to fit integrated testing.
- Automatically generates Ids for records.
- Simple yet effective Management Studio.
The JS console is a marvelous console which shows requests and response times along with indexes used to resolve incoming queries Handles hundreds of thousands of data with the multi-instance concept.
Cons of using RavenDB:
- It doesn't have an option to test sharding, replication or authenticated access without purchasing the license.
- Licenses are a must for anything other than development (even UAT requires licenses).
- Issues related to the dependence of RavenDB projects on one key developer.
- No proof of track records in enterprise solutions leads to many questions regarding RavenDB.
- Needs products and DevOps to support.
- Designing solutions are difficult if the programmers are not well versed with the concept of "eventually consistent" model.
We know almost everything about this excellent database, RavenDB. Even with a few drawbacks, RavenDB has an active community in the open source platform.
Developers provide various alternatives or try to re-program the database to nullify many of these issues. We will know for certain in case of major changes or updates done via the open source platform.
RavenDB is an excellent document-oriented database exclusively designed to be compatible with all .NET or Windows platforms. Developers constantly work on these databases to get rid of their quirks and provide a few perks while doing so.
We need to update ourselves on a periodic basis since the open source platform is like an open space where anyone can come up with an excellent idea to solve a problem. RavenDB is certainly worth a shot, so go check it out!