by Angela Guess
Matt Asay of ReadWrite recently wrote, "Recently NoSQL database vendor MarkLogic has been taking bullets over its alleged role in Healthcare.gov’s many technical problems. Some have gone so far as to argue that NoSQL databases, in general, are faulty because of the Healthcare.gov debacle. This is stupid. MarkLogic is a fine database. While not perfect, it’s silly to blame Healthcare.gov’s problems on this legacy database. Code isn’t the primary problem. As I’ve argued, Healthcare.gov’s problems aren’t really about code, but instead about process. For proof, look no further than Healthcare.gov’s British peer, Gov.UK, which credits NoSQL technologies as a significant reasons for its success. The difference isn’t in the code the two websites used, but rather their respective approaches: Gov.UK is iterative, agile. Healthcare.gov is top-down, waterfall."
Asay continues, "Open source invites criticism by laying bare its strengths and weaknesses in a way proprietary software never did. Developers today have a level of accessibility to the code they use that previous generations of developers lacked, with a megaphone (the Internet) that allows them to broadcast complaints about that code. But let’s not lose sight of just how blessed we are to have this code, or forget our obligation to apply it appropriately in order to be successful. In other words, read the documentation before you complain that open-source software doesn’t 'work.' More often than not, it works just fine, but not for the ill-conceived purpose you have in mind."
photo credit: Healthcare.gov