The debate around SQL or NoSQL is nothing but the comparison of non-relational vs. relational databases. The distinction lies in the way they are built, the kind of data they store, and how they work. NoSQL databases are distributed and document-oriented while SQL databases are structured.
Structured Query Language (SQL) databases are used to store data for more than 40 years now. With the increasing popularity of web applications and open-source options like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite, its usage blasted in the late 1990s. On the other hand, NoSQL databases are also gaining traction with famous alternatives, for example, MongoDB, Cassandra, Hypertable and Redis despite the fact that they’ve existed since the 1960s.
Both SQL and NoSQL do the same thing, they store data. But, their methodologies differ. Despite its increasing popularity, NoSQL isn’t a replacement for SQL. It’s just an option. A few projects demand more functions that SQL offers, while others work well with NoSQL and some fits well with both of them. To understand both in a better way, let’s dive into the blog.
One of the big differences between SQL or NoSQL databases is the language. SQL databases utilize Structured Query Language for characterizing and modifying data. This enables SQL to be greatly flexible and broadly utilized, but, it likewise makes it more restrictive. SQL requires that you utilize predefined schemas to decide the structure of your data before you even start to work with it. Your data should follow the similar structure, too, which can involve both in advance preparation alongside cautious execution.
A NoSQL database includes a dynamic schema for unstructured data and it can be stored in a wide range of ways, whether it is document-oriented, graph-based, and column-oriented or classified as a KeyValue store. This extraordinary flexibility enables you to make documents without first having to precisely define and plan their structure, include fields as you go, and differ the syntax from the database to database. It additionally enables you to give each document its own particular structure, providing you with more freedom overall.
SQL is based on tables which makes them a suitable alternative for applications that need multi-row transactions. Samples of these might be accounting frameworks or even legacy frameworks that were initially built for a relational structure. NoSQL databases can be key-value sets, graph databases, wide-column stores or document based.
Another big difference between SQL or NoSQL is their scalability. Most SQL databases are vertically scalable; this implies you can increase their capacity by adding resources such as SSD, RAM or CPU. However, NoSQL DBs are horizontally scalable; this implies they can manage more traffic if you add more servers to the database. NoSQL databases are able to become more powerful and scalable and that makes them the first choice for huge or constantly evolving data sets.
Because of SQL’s maturity, it has a stronger and developed community as compared to NoSQL. There are a large number of forums and charts accessible where developers can share knowledge and examine SQL best practices, for improving skills. In spite of the fact that NoSQL is developing quickly, its community isn’t well defined as SQL because it is still new.
SQL is a nice alternative for any business that will profit from its set schema and pre-defined structure. For instance, applications that require multi-row transactions – like accounting frameworks or frameworks that monitor inventory – or that keep running on legacy frameworks will flourish with the MySQL structure.
NoSQL, on the other hand, is a suitable alternative for organizations that have databases with no clear schema definitions. Or, if you can’t define a schema for your database, if you get yourself denormalizing data schema, or if your schemas keep on changing – as is particularly the case with mobile applications, CMS, real-time analytics, etc, NoSQL is a perfect fit for you.
If you’re still not sure about which type of database will suit your business, you can schedule a consultation with one of our experts here.