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Wide Column Stores
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Wide column stores, also called extensible record stores, store data in records with an ability to hold very large numbers of dynamic columns. Since the column names as well as the record keys are not fixed, and since a record can have billions of columns, wide column stores can be seen as two-dimensional key-value stores.
Wide column stores share the chracteristic of being schema-free with document stores, however the implementation is very different.
Wide column stores must not be confused with the column oriented storage in some relational systems. This is an internal concept for improving the performance of an RDBMS for OLAP workloads and stores the data of a table not record after record but column by column.
Most popular examples
Find more systems in our wide column store ranking.
Google's BigTable is considered to be the origin of this class of databases. The publicity is based on this now-classic publication.