Database design is critical for high performance in relational databases and many tools exist to aid application designers in selecting an appropriate schema. While the problem of schema optimization is also highly relevant for NoSQL databases, existing tools for relational databases are inadequate for this setting. Application designers wishing to use a NoSQL database instead rely on rules of thumb to select an appropriate schema. We present a system for recommending database schemas for NoSQL applications. Our cost-based approach uses a novel binary integer programming formulation to guide the mapping from the application's conceptual data model to a database schema.
We implemented a prototype of this approach for the Cassan-dra extensible record store. Our prototype, the NoSQL Schema Evaluator (NoSE) is able to capture rules of thumb used by expert designers without explicitly encoding the rules. Automating the design process allows NoSE to produce efficient schemas and to examine more alternatives than would be possible with a manual rule-based approach.