It's a competitive world for database vendors — and major players like Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP are not adverse to taking jabs at each other in bids to win customers.

But in the digital era, the company is less important than the technology. Customers are won or lost in less time than it takes for a web page to load. And web pages keep loading faster.

For next generation database vendors like Santa Clara, Calif.-based DataStax, this is great news because its tech is purpose-built for this point in time. 

When Netflix's Oracle database failed, leaving some customers without movies for as long as 48 hours, all the schmoozing in the world wouldn't have kept the company from ripping Larry Ellison's creation out of its infrastructure. Ditto for broadcasting giant Sky after it realized that items were evaporating from its customers' shopping carts before they got to the checkout.

Cloud-Scale from the Start

Companies whose businesses and customer-facing relationships depend on the web are now choosing cloud-scale technologies from the start. Oracle isn't the competition anymore Martin Van Ryswyk, executive vice president at DataStax, told CMSWire.

But that doesn't mean DataStax is resting on its laurels, especially in light of competition from vendors like MongoDB, Couchbase and Riak.

And that's where DataStax's latest innovation, DataStax Enterprise Graph (DSE Graph) comes in. It was built to show relationships between data, in context, so that marketers could deliver better customer experiences based on algorithms like "people like you also bought xxx"; "people who vacation in the Bahamas and stay at the Ritz Carlton will most likely vacation "here"next"; to Twitter followers of Ashton Kutcher will watch xxx television show next".

Learning Opportunities

Scaling-Out Kutcher Style

While the first two queries might not be that hard to solve using existing technologies, try to scale out to Kutcher's 17.5 million followers, their followers and their followers' followers and you have a big data problem you need an Enterprise-grade Graph database to solve and an Enterprise grade platform to do it on. That's what DataStax Enterprise with DataStax Enterprise Graph is for.

But it's useful beyond marketing, we should note. You could use a graph database to look at disease patterns just as readily as you could to map and mine Kutcher's social network.

Multimodel Databases: The Future?

Today's announcement reaches beyond the world of graph databases. Van Ryswyk told CMSWire that CIOs have been asking for tools with which to address its multi-data model needs for some time and that DataStax Enterprise (DSE), with its built-in multi-model capabilities that provide support for key-value, tabular, JSON / document, and graph data models is the answer.

DSE Graph and DataStax Enterprise are based on open source technologies like Apache Cassandra, Apache Spark, Apache TinkerPop, Gremlin and more. Though DataStax acquired and/or rewrote the code in Gremlin, it belongs to the community, Van Ryswyk told CMSWire. It is the open source way.