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3. Mailboxes: Oldies but Goodies > mbox + CouchDB = Relaxed Email Analysis

mbox + CouchDB = Relaxed Email Analysis

Using the right tool for the job can significantly streamline the effort involved in analyzing data. While the most obvious approach for analyzing the structured data might be to spend some extra time creating an a priori schema, importing data into it, modifying the schema because there’s something we forgot about, and then repeating the process yet a few more times, this surely wouldn’t be a very relaxing[14] thing to do. Given the very natural mapping between the document-centric nature of an email message and a JSON data structure, we’ll import our mbox data into CouchDB, a document-oriented database that provides map/reduce capabilities that are quite nice for building up indexes on the data and performing an aggregate frequency analysis that answers questions such as, “How many messages were sent by so-and-so?” or “How many messages were sent out on such-and-such a date?”


  

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