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Thursday, May 26, 2022

How to Choose Between SQL and NoSQL Databases

Organizations that run on data-intensive applications need to take many crucial decisions regarding how to implement the applications properly. They also need to consider how to maintain the applications. One of the most crucial decisions is to determine the relevant platforms to use for delivering and storing the data of the application. In the past couple of years, most organizations used to choose SQL database systems due to their extreme effectiveness in protecting the data and ensuring its integrity. However, the rise of the internet and the introduction of different cloud computing technologies have motivated many organizations to shift or NoSQL databases. This is because the organizations can handle the semi-structured and unstructured data easily through the NoSQL databases.

However, despite the ongoing trend, many organizations focus on supporting more traditional workloads, often combining them with their modern applications. But most of the time, they face difficulties determining which type of database will be beneficial for the organization. Both SQL and NoSQL databases offer unique advantages and disadvantages. They also differ in how they store the data or the structure. Therefore, you need to understand both SQL and NoSQL to determine the perfect one for your organization.

What are SQL Databases?

The SQL database is known as the relational database system. The relational model of SQL defines the methodology to organize the structured data into relations. They will also define the exact relationship between two columns and tables. However, there are more relational theories than this. Even though the terminology is important, you cannot overlook the significance of relational databases for managing and storing data in organizations.

SQL is the heart of the relational model. This is a standard-based programming language that will help you define the relationships and schema between the tables. You can also use the programming language to manipulate, store, and retrieve essential data from the tables. The SQL uses both ANSI and ISO. This is why developers all around the world prefer SQL systems.

Even though there are many challenges, the SQL database is still one of the primary choices for organizations. Nowadays, vendors are providing more sophisticated relational database products such as IBM DB, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and many more.

What are NoSQL Databases?

Due to the influx of semi-structured and unstructured data, many organizations have started choosing NoSQL databases. NoSQL is known as “Not Only SQL” or “Not SQL”. Even though the naming might seem vague or irrelevant, it undoubtedly points out the specific categories of databases that are much more scalable and flexible than the old-school SQL databases. The NoSQL databases aren’t completely dependent upon the grid scheme structure of the relational databases, nor are they restricted to the specific databases. As per Techopedia, the NoSQL system is best for very large databases.

Additionally, the NoSQL databases aren’t restricted to following any particular model. This is why the industry stays dynamic enough to imagine all the possible outcomes.

What are the Models of NoSQL?

There are four different NoSQL models you need to know.

  • Key-Value Databases: In this model, the data is accessed and stored in a specific key-value structure that is associated with specific data blobs. This is why you can store any type of data, despite its form. Example products include Amazon DynamoDB and Berkely DB.
  • Document Databases: In this model, the data is stored in document types such as XML or JSON. These documents are assigned with their own unique key. However, they aren’t limited to elements or predefined fields. Example products include CouchDB and MongoDB.
  • Column-Oriented Databases: In this model, all the data is stored in specific columns instead of rows. Therefore, it’s possible to aggregate and query a large volume of data easily. These databases are also popular with other names such as a wide-column store, column-store, and column-family. Example products include Bigtable and HBase.
  • Graph Databases: Data is only stored through graph structures that determine how the data is connected with each other. This is extremely important to treat the data relationships. Product examples include InfiniteGraph and Neo4J.

The Differences between SQL and NoSQL Databases 

If you’re facing difficulties in deciding between SQL and NoSQL databases, you need to compare them thoroughly. The comparison will help you choose the perfect database for your organization. Here are some primary characteristics that set NoSQL and SQL apart.

Data Structure 

The data structure of SQL is dependent on relational models that standardize the table relationship. On the other hand, the data structure of NoSQL is not dependent on normalized configuration. Therefore, they have different key values.


The SQL databases are primarily dependent on the SQL languages. Even though some databases support pure SQL, others include the advanced version of the language. However, the NoSQL databases aren’t dependent on one language. The language you use is dependent on the type of NoSQL database.

Data Integrity 

One of the best benefits of SQL databases is that they provide a higher degree of data integrity. However, the NoSQL databases aren’t capable of providing the same data integrity as the standard SQL database.


This is everything you need to know about the SQL and NoSQL databases. If you have any other questions, make sure you comment below.

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