What is MongoDB?
What is PostgreSQL?
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We use postgresql for the merge between sql/nosql. A lot of our data is unstructured JSON, or JSON that is currently in flux due to some MVP/interation processes that are going on. PostgreSQL gives the capability to do this.
At the moment PostgreSQL on amazon is only at 9.5 which is one minor version down from support for document fragment updates which is something that we are waiting for. However, that may be some ways away.
Other than that, we are using PostgreSQL as our main SQL store as a replacement for all the MSSQL databases that we have. Not only does it have great support through RDS (small ops team), but it also has some great ways for us to migrate off RDS to managed EC2 instances down the line if we need to.
PostgreSQL combines the best aspects of traditional SQL databases such as reliability, consistent performance, transactions, querying power, etc. with the flexibility of schemaless noSQL systems that are all the rage these days. Through the powerful JSON column types and indexes, you can now have your cake and eat it too! PostgreSQL may seem a bit arcane and old fashioned at first, but the developers have clearly shown that they understand databases and the storage trends better than almost anyone else. It definitely deserves to be part of everyone's toolbox; when you find yourself needing rock solid performance, operational simplicity and reliability, reach for PostgresQL.
Relational data stores solve a lot of problems reasonably well. Postgres has some data types that are really handy such as spatial, json, and a plethora of useful dates and integers. It has good availability of indexing solutions, and is well-supported for both custom modifications as well as hosting options (I like Amazon's Postgres for RDS). I use HoneySQL for Clojure as a composable AST that translates reliably to SQL. I typically use JDBC on Clojure, usually via org.clojure/java.jdbc.
Used MongoDB as primary database. It holds trip data of NYC taxis for the year 2013. It is a huge dataset and it's primary feature is geo coordinates with pickup and drop off locations. Also used MongoDB's map reduce to process this large dataset for aggregation. This aggregated result was then used to show visualizations.
MongoDB fills our more traditional database needs. We knew we wanted Trello to be blisteringly fast. One of the coolest and most performance-obsessed teams we know is our next-door neighbor and sister company StackExchange. Talking to their dev lead David at lunch one day, I learned that even though they use SQL Server for data storage, they actually primarily store a lot of their data in a denormalized format for performance, and normalize only when they need to.
Nearly all of our backend storage is on MongoDB. This has also worked out pretty well. It's enabled us to scale up faster/easier than if we had rolled our own solution on top of PostgreSQL (which we were using previously). There have been a few roadbumps along the way, but the team at 10gen has been a big help with thing.
PostgreSQL is responsible for nearly all data storage, validation and integrity. We leverage constraints, functions and custom extensions to ensure we have only one source of truth for our data access rules and that those rules live as close to the data as possible. Call us crazy, but ORMs only lead to ruin and despair.
Tried MongoDB - early euphoria - later dread. Tried MySQL - not bad at all. Found PostgreSQL - will never go back. So much support for this it should be your first choice. Simple local (free) installation, and one-click setup in Heroku - lots of options in terms of pricing/performance combinations.
We are testing out MongoDB at the moment. Currently we are only using a small EC2 setup for a delayed job queue backed by
agenda. If it works out well we might look to see where it could become a primary document storage engine for us.