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Difference Between SQL and NoSQL


What are the Difference between SQL and NoSQL?

The database is an essential part of every organizational application. When it comes to choosing a perfect database for your organization, you have two choices, one is SQL and other is No SQL. SQL is known as relational SQL while NoSQL is known as a non-relational database.

While both can serve the same purpose, still there are several advantages and disadvantages attached to both. In this blog we would have a look at the key differences between both so that you can choose the appropriate database of your choice.

Basic Introduction of SQL and NoSQL

We are going to share basic introduction of SQL and NoSQL which is help to know about SQL and NoSQL.

What is SQL?

SQL is a structured programming language that is used by the database professionals to manage their relational databases. A relational database is a collection of tables that are used to store data. Some of the well-known database management systems are Sybase, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Ingres and Access. SQL can be used to create tables and database schemas. Tables consist of rows and columns.

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL database, on the other hand, is a self-describing database schema. It does not use tables to manage data; instead, it uses JSON documents to store data. These documents are complete entities that can be easily read and understand. NoSQL is considered as a non-relational and high-performance database that use a variety of data models. MongoDB, CloudDB, Couch base and Amazon’s Dynamo DB are some of the most popular NoSQL.

Difference Between SQL and NoSQL

There are a few of the key and major differences between SQL and NoSQL. When you need to select any one of them, then you should be aware of these differences. Main differences are:

1). The Language

Language is the key-difference between SQL and NoSQL. As we have discussed earlier that SQL is a structured query language that use pre-defined schemas and structure to store, retrieve and manipulate data. SQL is considered as a restrictive language. Your data must be stored in a structured manner.

NoSQL store data in an unstructured manner and by using dynamic schema. The data can be stored in many ways that may be graph-based, column-oriented and document-oriented. To store data in a NoSQL you do not need to have a pre-prepared plan to store data and you get full flexibility to define its structure. Moreover, there is no syntax rule and you can add as many fields as you want as a result you can give any document a structure.

2). The Scalability

Scalability is also a major factor while differentiating SQL and NoSQL. SQL databases are vertically scalable it means that you can increase the load on a single server by adding more components like CPU, SSD and RAM.

NoSQL is also a scalable database, but it is a horizontally scalable database means you can increase the efficiency by adding more servers. NoSQL can become more powerful and larger and therefore is mostly preferred.

3). The Community

As SQL is much older so has a stronger and large community as compared to NoSQL. For SQL you can found thousands of forums and chat options to discuss the issues of SQL and enhance the skills. NoSQL, on the other hand, is growing rapidly but does not have sufficient community help for the developers. As it is quite new to the community has not been that much developed.

4). The Structure

The structure is the basic and key factor to differentiate SQL and NoSQL. Where SQL is completely table based database, so on the other hand NoSQL does not use tables to store data. SQL is considered as a better option to store database that is able to handle multi-row transactions. A number of legacy systems are built by using the relational structure. NoSQL databases can store data in graphs and documents.

Which Database is better – SQL and NoSQL?

If you do not know which database is right for you, then the answer is that analyze your requirement and know the exact required functions. If you are n search of a predefined schema and structure then SQL can be the perfect choice for you. Moreover, if you are in search of a persistent and errorless database with a multi-row transaction option then also you can choose SQL.

While for rapidly growing companies that do not have any specific schema definition, NoSQL can be a better option. NoSQL is much more flexible as SQL or relational database. Moreover, if your organization wants to analyze a large quantity of data then again you can choose NoSQL.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SQL and NoSQL

Here are some of the common advantages and disadvantages of NoSQL and SQL:

Advantagesof SQL and NoSQL

  • As SQL database use tables so are quite easier to use, while NoSQL is not
  • NoSQL database is open-source so can be a good solution for small enterprises and they can even handle large size databases. SQL is paid databases so may increase your budget
  • NoSQL database scalability is not costlier as compared to SQL database
  • Through NoSQL, a detailed database can be easily and rapidly prepared, while in case of SQL you must have your database plan ready when you design your database.

Disadvantages of of SQL and NoSQL

  • The community of NoSQL is not that much large, however, it is continuously growing. It lacks experienced professionals and advice. On the other hand, the community size of SQL if larger and have highly experienced professionals.
  • NoSQL database does not have sufficient reporting tools for performance and analysis testing, however, for MySQL, you can find lots of reporting tools that can prove the validity of your application.
  • NoSQL needs a query language like SQL to grow further. Many of the NoSQL users have found this issue and complains about lack of standardization that can create problems at the time of migration. Moreover, database standardization is also required for these databases.

Key highlights on SQL vs NoSQL:

SQL NOSQL
RELATIONAL DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (RDBMS) Non-relational or distributed database system.
These databases have fixed or static or predefined schema They have have dynamic schema
These databases are not suited for hierarchical data storage. These databases are best suited for hierarchical data storage.
These databases are best suited for complex queries These databases are not so good for complex queries
Verticlly Scalable Horizontally scalable

Wrapping Up:

NoSQL databases have become an important part of the industries and have a handful of advantages and on the other hand, SQL databases are table based and can handle any size of schema and database. To select the appropriate database, the organizations need to identify and enlist their requirements exactly. While some experts suggest that NoSQL is a future database, others say it lacks standardization and ACID compliance.