The best was saved for last, at least that is how I see it, and in multiple ways. I will be honest I was a bit surprised Redis was a Key Value pair based data store, but I guess I should not have been considering its efficiency. As the book is winding down I wasn’t sure how things were going to end, but they are ending with a big bang, creation of the universe kind.
Impressions of the Book
This chapter was actually a short chapter if you don’t include day 3, and I won’t. Redis is surprisingly easy to learn and use, and the authors did a good job building up from the basics all the way to fairly advanced usage. Day 3 was probably the best part, but I don’t want to talk about it this time. All of the examples were very good and fit just right as building blocks to a better understanding.
What I learned
Data Structure Server
One of the ideas behind Redis is that it is Data Structure Server. Meaning it can store all sorts of data as different types of Data Structures. When I started reading about it I was a bit confused as to what you could even do with storing data as multiple types of data structures.
The example they used, I think, fit so well I dare say it is the best example of the entire book. Their first example was to use Redis as a back-end for a URL Shortening service. The authors did a very good job of showing you how to build the entire back-end to this service on Redis. They did a good enough job using the different types of data structures you could go and build your own service to compete with TinyURL and Bitly.
CLI and *nix
Redis feels very *nix’y™ with its focus on the command line, and simple configuration ability. Day two does a good job at introducing you to administering Redis instead of, you as the user, trying to filter through tons of documentation and hoping you read the right thing first. The book does just enough to get you comfortable using Redis on the command line and doing configuration you are eager to explore.
The best quote from the book that really grabbed me was this:
Redis is like grease.
The best part about reading the book and reading up on Redis is how it helps, and acts as grease in the gears to keep things going smoothly in your applications. I never understood how you could do that with a separate data store until I read this chapter.
Redis seems to be a very flexible data store with a lot going for it, especially since it has an amazing amount of speed to it. With it being popular among a lot of companies it has been battle tested in the wild and seems to shine when used properly. To be honest after reading this chapter I think Redis and MongoDB are the two NoSQL Databases I can understand how to use the best.
Next week is the final post in this series of blog posts where I will do a final review of the entire book, the last chapter, and also talk about, perhaps, the best part of the Redis chapter, Day 3. It really makes the entire book worth the read, and I feel has already made me a better developer.