During the past few years we saw a steady rise of NoSQL databases. While most of them are for very specialized scenarios there are a few multi-talents which can be a good replacement for a more traditional storage solution.
One of the more well-known is MongoDB, a document-oriented, schemaless database, which I started to like very much. MongoDB is easy to set up and allows me to store objects into the database right away, without thinking about table layout and hacking SQL installation scripts. Of course it also has its downsides, but later more on it.
Currently I take an online class on MongoDB for developers, which is provided by the makers of the database at 10gen.com for free. The online class consists of a couple of video lectures and regular home work assignments. After seven weeks the class will end with a final programming project and of course a 10gen MongoDB developer certificate.
The homework is easy and the course is progressing with a slow pace which is ideal if you cannot or don’t want to spend to much time on it.
I don’t think you can join the current class, but at the end of February (25th) a new course starts:
So if you are interested in taking a closer look, then join the course. So far I like it. It gives a good introduction, talks not just about the programming API, but also about best practices in document design and performance tips. You will not be a professional mongo developer after the course, but I think it provides everything you need to start using MongoDB and is also a good starting point to dive deeper into the issue.