Though one of my many internet searches, I ran across Hierarchical Data Formats (HDF) last year. It seems interesting but I feel like I'm in over my head a bit. I believe that some people here have use it and I'm looking for advice on getting started, what to watch for and how it's different from other data storage schemes. My background with databases includes work with various relational databases like Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, etc. For the last year, I've been introduced to the world of NoSQL using MongoDB so it is possible for me to learn new tricks. One of my concerns is that my math skills are very rusty. I have occasionally restudied calculus up to the chain rule and I have written programs using spherical coordinates. Getting back to any ability with PDEs or statistics will take a while. This makes me wonder if I would be able to actually make use of HDF. Thanks in advance.