Database vs Data Structure?

M.-A. Lemburg mal at
Fri Apr 18 13:32:05 CEST 2008

On 2008-04-18 05:37, erikcw wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm working on a web application where each user will be creating
> several "projects" in there account, each with 1,000-50,000 objects.
> Each object will consist of a unique name, an id, and some meta data.
> The number of objects will grow and shrink as the user works with
> their project.
> I'm trying to decided whether to store the objects in the database
> (each object gets it's own row) or to use some sort of data-structure
> (maybe nested dictionaries or a custom class) and store the pickled
> data-structure in a single row in the database (then unpickle the data
> and query in memory).
> A few requirements:
> -Fast/scalable (web app)
> -able to query objects based on name and id.
> -will play nicely with versioning (undo/redo)
> Any input on the best way to go?

Relational databases offer the best scalability and reliability,
so I'd go for those as backend.

If your data is mostly read-only and usually only touches
a small part of your database (e.g. the data for a day or two),
then you can increase query performance by keeping that part in
an in-memory database (e.g. use sqlite or Oracle TimesTen)
and only update the copy in case something changes in the

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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