You've probably heard the unexpected news that Oracle, the relational database giant, is planning to create a standards body for NoSQL databases. What does it mean, though? According to Andrew C. Oliver's "Beware of NoSQL standards in Oracle's clothing," the intentions are not good:
Typically, large vendors use standards bodies slow the pace of change. I remember, for example, when JBoss was pushing for JPA and EJB3 to be standardized, a larger vendor dragged its feet while making acquisitions to compete in that space. With NoSQL databases, my guess is that Oracle wants to add barriers to entry and slow things down as much as possible.
In other words, when NoSQL is confusing and inaccessible, Oracle wins. Oliver even reaches out to some NoSQL vendors for comment - Couchbase's Rahim Yanseen gave a response - and the conclusions were similar. Oracle is scrambling to stay up-to-date in the best way it can, which is, as Oliver suggests, to hinder progress:
Oracle benefits if the future comes more slowly -- and the market is confused by weird Relatable-NewSQL-RAC-DataGuard-JDBC-like-Thing standards that ideally don't work.
That's not to say that a standards body is necessarily a bad thing; it could be beneficial for some of the top NoSQL vendors to contribute to such a thing. Unfortunately, most of the top NoSQL competitors don't have the reach and influence that Oracle does. According to Oliver, then, the problem is not the standards body, but who's creating it:
Oracle is right: It's time to have some standardization, but Oracle has not earned a seat at that table, let alone the right to own the table.
Check out Oliver's full article for a complete picture of the Oracle news and what it means.