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I ask you to consider a certain model for data, invented by a small team at a company with thousands of employees. It is accessible over a TCP/IP interface and is available from a variety of languages, including Java and web services. This model was difficult at first for all but the most advanced computer scientists to understand, until broader adoption helped make the concepts clearer. Using the database built around this model required learning new terms and thinking about data storage in a different way. But as products sprang up around it, more businesses and government agencies put it to use, in no small part because it was fast—capable of processing thousands of operations a second. The...


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