Transcending SQL in Drupal 7

February 3, 2009: Dries commits the fields in core patch. May 12, 2009: holds a meeting, calls it “NoSQL”. The hundred tickets sell out in five hours. Dec 2, 2009: Drupal field API gets a MongoDB storage backend. Aug 12, 2010: launches one of the largest Drupal sites ever based on that backend.

How did we get here? We spent four decades standing on the foundations of the relational theory… and now we say it’s not good enough? What’s wrong? What did we win? What do we lose?