What is RDF and what is it good for?
This started out as an answer at Semantic Overflow on how RDF database systems differ from other currently available NoSQL solutions. I've here expanded the answer somewhat and added some general-audience context. RDF database systems are the only standardized NoSQL solutions available at the moment, being built on a simple, uniform data model and a powerful, declarative query language. These systems offer data portability and toolchain interoperability among the dozens of competing implementations that are available at present, avoiding any need to bet the farm on a particular product or vendor. In case you're not familiar with the term, NoSQL ("Not only SQL") is a loosely-defined umbrella moniker for describing the new generation of non-relational database systems that have sprung up in the last several years. These systems tend to be inherently distributed, schema-less, and horizontally scalable.
(Yes it's a long title, since people kept asking me to write about this and that too :) I do when it has a point.) While SQL databases are insanely useful tools, their monopoly in the last decades is coming to an end. And it's just time: I can't even count the things that were forced into relational databases, but never really fitted them.
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Introduction This is just a simple article visually explaining SQL JOINs. Background I'm a pretty visual person.