Software development

SQL versus NoSQL: Pros and Cons

For example, MongoDB now supports multi-document ACID transactions, and MySQL now includes a native JSON data type for storing and validating JSON documents. Some relational database products support pure SQL, but many include enhanced versions of the language—such as SQL Server’s Transact-SQL (T-SQL)—to accommodate product-specific features. However, all SQL databases support the core ANSI/ISO language elements. Each type of NoSQL database offers advantages and disadvantages, depending on the workloads an organization is trying to support.

advantages of nosql over sql

While NoSQL databases commonly rely on clusters of cheap commodity servers to administer the tremendous data and transaction volumes. As the result, NoSQL is cost effective compared to RDBMS and allows to process and store more data at a much lower cost. NoSQL databases scale horizontally, meaning you can add more servers to power your growing database. This flexibility allows you to create documents without defining the structure, and to have documents with unique structures. The syntax is also different for different databases, and fields can be added as you want. Although there are many advantages of NoSQL over SQL, but picking the right database for your organization is an important decision.

ix.            Computer Programming Languages

However, they were complex, often proprietary to a particular application, and limited in the ways in which they could uncover within the data. These limitations eventually led to the development of relational database management systems, which arranged data in tables. SQL provided an interface to interact with relational data, allowing analysts to connect tables by merging on common fields. Unlike relational databases, structured data stores do not use fixed schemas and are therefore perfect for big data applications. Many different NoSQL databases are already in use around the world, most of which are open source and structured differently depending on the provider and requirements.

Typically, the more extensive the dataset, the more likely a NoSQL database is a better option. Non-relational databases tend to excel at scalability and availability requirements, being ideal for social networks and real-time applications (e.g., online gaming, instant messaging), for example. “Scaling out” in RDBMS is generally more difficult to implement due to the ACID concepts relational databases follow. For a multi-server RDBMS to maintain data integrity across transactions, it would require a fast backend communication channel.

Data integrity

It can effectively handle JSON files with very vast and complicated nested structures without impairing an application’s performance. The scale-out architecture used by the majority of NoSQL databases not only offers a direct path for scaling to support massive data sets and large traffic levels. Using a group of computers to deliver a database also enables the database to dynamically increase and decrease its capacity. While NoSQL databases frequently use groups of inexpensive commodity servers to manage the enormous transaction and data volumes.

advantages of nosql over sql

In databases, this means that it is possible to increase the amount of data in a single server by adding more power to an existing machine by using, for instance, a CPU, RAM, or SSD. As we know, the Internet’s growth was not slow, and as new sources and volumes of data kept disrupting our world, relational databases started struggling. An important aspect to clear out is that SQL is not a database system itself. Truth be told, when comparing SQL vs NoSQL, the main differences being assessed are relational databases vs non-relational databases (as well as distributed databases). Depending on the NoSQL database type you select, you may not be able to achieve all of your use cases in a single database. For example, graph databases are excellent for analyzing relationships in your data but may not provide what you need for everyday retrieval of the data such as range queries.

Analytical Queries

It is a collection of structured tables and a table is a collection of records or rows that are also called as an attribute of a table. SQL programming language is used with relational database management systems to perform crud operations on the database as needed and match the data with the predefined characteristics. Many renowned databases support SQL engine such as MS SQL Server, MS Access, and Oracle. It also support open source databases like Maria DB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. NoSQL databases were created in response to the limitations of traditional relational database technology. When compared to relational databases, NoSQL databases are often more scalable and provide superior performance.

Build or host a website, launch a server, or store your data and more with our most popular products for less. You’ll need to think about what your data looks like, how you’ll query your data, and the scalability you’ll need in the future. Now you have much more flexibility regardless of whether you choose a SQL or NoSQL database, and there are sure to be more flexible options in the future. SQL and NoSQL databases scale differently, so you’ll have to think about how your data set will grow in the future.

Examples of SQL and NoSQL Database

NoSQL databases use JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), XML, YAML, or binary schema, facilitating unstructured data. SQL has a fixed-defined schema, while NoSQL databases are more flexible. In addition to supporting data storage and queries, they both also allow one to retrieve, update, and delete stored data. However, under the surface lie some significant differences that affect NoSQL versus SQL performance, scalability, and flexibility.

  • This allows data architects to simply scale them by supplementing clusters with additional servers.
  • RDBMS capacity is increasing immensely to match this growth, but the data volume managed by a single RDBMS becoming impossible for some companies.
  • Some of the commonly used elements include insert, select, delete, add truncate, alter and update.
  • NoSQL databases have become popular because they store data in simple straightforward forms that can be easier to understand than the type of data models used in SQL databases.
  • A user program or app can fetch and use data stored on the computer’s database with the help of SQL.

For this reason, the BASE model is followed in many NoSQL database systems. It stands for Basically Available, Soft state, and Eventually consistent. Furthermore, any data that can be retrieved, processed, and stored in a set format is referred to as structured data. Only the assistance of highly skilled, expensive DBAs may be used to administer RDBMS systems. Automatic repair, data distribution, and less management are needed for NoSQL databases, whereas automatic repair, tuning, and maintenance are not as necessary. Because SQL databases have a long history now, they have huge communities, and many examples of their stable codebases online.


The predefined structure and schemas of SQL make it the most favored choice for businesses. Non-relational, in other words, you can call it as table-less, these NoSQL databases vary from SQL databases. In this sense, they provide ease of management while assuring a high level of flexibility with new data models. As time passed, the demands for faster and more disparate use of large data sets became increasingly more important for emerging technology, such as e-commerce applications. Programmers needed something more flexible than SQL databases (i.e. relational databases). A graph database employs nodes and edges to represent relationships between data.

advantages of nosql over sql

This channel would have to synchronize all the writes and transactions, as well as prevent possible deadlocks. NoSQL can also stand for “Not Only SQL” to highlight that some NoSQL systems may also support SQL query language. In fact, before moving on, it is important to keep in mind that NoSQL does not necessarily mean that a database does not support SQL. Relational databases are efficient, flexible and easily accessed by any application.

The Disadvantages of NoSQL Databases

The SQL databases manipulate the data based on SQL which is one of the most versatile and widely-used language options available. While this makes it a safe choice especially for complex queries, it can also be restrictive. This is because it requires the use of predefined schemas to determine the structure of data before you work with it and changing the structure can be quite confusing (like using Y language). Relational databases are quite dependent on database administrators, also known as DBA. For example, you can add more servers that are inexpensive to your main database cluster if the data size is growing more than the expected size. On the other hand, relational database requires more powerful and eventually more expensive servers to do the scaling at vertical level.

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