NoSQL databases are a driving force in the evolution of Big Data. That could have important implications for Oracle (ORCL), as we wrote last week. At the same time, it's an impetus for integration across the channel, as Talend and Neo Technology highlighted this week with a partnership designed to encourage enterprise adoption of open source graph NoSQL databases.

Wikipedia has a pretty good overview of graph databases, which are one type of NoSQL database. For the non-geeks in the audience, though, the key characteristic of this type of storage system is that, in contrast to traditional relational databases such as MySQL, graph databases don't require an index. As a result, they can offer more flexibilty and scalability, which represent valuable assets when building Big Data infrastructure.

Customers of Talend, which offers an open source Big Data platform as well as a proprietary, value-added version, now will be able to work with data stored in Neo's Neo4j NoSQL graph database product using a new set of "connectors" that Talend will integrate into its software. Talend expects this feature to prove attractive to organizations eager to take advantage of the flexibility of Neo's NoSQL database:

As data explodes in volume and complexity, many systems have difficulty handling sophisticated queries while achieving high performance results. Neo4j is specifically designed to overcome the challenges that organizations face when attempting to manage connected data with traditional databases. As a high-performance graph database, Neo4j is transactional, durable, and scales to meet the demands of complex data.

Also notable is that the Neo4j connectors for Talend's Big Data platforms are a product of the channel. They were written by developers at Zenika, a Talend partner, and were previously available as community-supported connectors, but will now gain native integration into the Talend software. The Neo4j connectors' origins are an example of the importance of collaboration with the channel to the Talend business model, which is unsurprising given the open source roots of the company.

The connectors are also a reminder of the growing importance of NoSQL-type databases to Big Data. Talend's software can handle information from plenty of other storage systems, too, but the focus on NoSQL in this recent move reflects a broader trend toward meeting the demands of enterprises looking beyond relational database technology.