Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Database Management and Data Integration Software Research, at IDC, sent me this note, where he argues about the term “NoSQL” in relation with object databases.
I would shy away from this term. A number of analysts (including myself) consider it a somewhat sloppy term intended to convey a certain spirit of rebellion. It actually derives from the core idea that the so-called “No-SQL” databases do not require schemas, and since most DBMSs are relational, it is simpler to say “NoSQL” than the more obscure “NoDDL”.
In fact, OODBMS does require a schema, and the data structure, which is tied to the application object model, is key to how it operates, and especially to its transparent operational nature. The so-called “NoSQL” database, which I call a “nonschematic” database, is one that requires no schema to be defined before data is loaded. One usually does define a schema afterward, through a process of data discovery and definition. If you know of a OODBMS that can accept undefined data, and allow schema definition after the fact, that could qualify. Otherwise, I would shy away from the term altogether.