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Understanding SQL vs. NoSQL Database and the Leading Choices in NoSQL

Understanding SQL vs. NoSQL Database and the Leading Choices in NoSQL


SQL is the conventional relational database management system or RDBMS, which as the name suggests, is constructed based on a relational matrix. Starting from the 1970s, it had been the primary database system for many organizations and stayed up to this time by now serving to the relative newcomers also. Even though people say IT is a fast-changing cranny, SQL remained on top for quite long now. In fact, it has been so with its solid ability to do a quite decent number of tasks well.


Major advantages of SQL


The basic advantages of SQL are:


  • It’s based on a uniform language for various roles across the ladders, i.e., developers, users, and DBA.
  • It also features a unique standardized language to handle various RDBMS.
  • It has a non-structural querying model.
  • SQL stick to the ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) principles, which ensures optimum security, stability, and fair predictability.

As we can see, many of these SQL benefits come from its features like ease of use, uniformity, and comfort. Even those who have limited knowledge of programming can use it with the help of easy to tools like the SQL Query Builder online.


A few drawbacks are also there for SQL, which make is unsuitable recently for certain types of operations. The major problem among these is its inability to scale based on the growing requirement of current-day organizations. Sharding is also quite a problematic aspect of SQL.


So, there are many NoSQL solutions are also popping up in the horizon of RDBMS, which is capable of handling a larger number of transactions in each second. Many industry giants like Amazon and Alibaba are now using NoSQL DBMS to deal with their ever-increasing volume of data, which may simply choke the old relational databases.


NoSQL databases


NoSQL or Not Only SQL is now gaining largely in popularity. You can see its biggest implementations in many frontline products like MongoDB and Apache Cassandra among others. NoSQL was basically developed to address the scalability issues that existed in SQL. It features a schema-free approach and distributed file management systems, which makes it very easy to shard and scale limitlessly.


However, these benefits of NoSQL also come at the cost of compromising on the ACID principles. Instead of having all these parameters consistent across the transactions, the NoSQL approach focuses on eventual consistency. This mean, if there is no update for any particular data set for a considerable amount of time, then all accesses to it will eventually return the last updated value. This is known as BASE guarantees (means Basically Available, Soft state, and Eventual consistency) against ACID.


Even though NoSQL can increase scalability with this approach, there is a risk of data loss, the severity of which will depend on the DBMS server support and also the quality of the code of their database application.


Another issue in NoSQL is that there are different types of systems with little in common among those. In terms of performance, flexibility, scalability, complexity these systems largely vary among one another, which makes it difficult for the users to pick one. However, as reiterates, when chosen properly by understanding the strength and weakness of each, no doubt that NoSQL will offer a highly efficient solution in DBMS compared to SQL systems.

Top NoSQL options for enterprise users


As we have seen above, NoSQL databases are now becoming more and more popular as a practical alternative to the relational database management systems. Developers, with modern-day business needs in hand, give priority to the most scalable storage models which can handle endless volumes of unstructured data and complex web operations. NoSQL market may be hitting $4.2 billion by the year 2020. Here, we will try to pick a few good in NoSQL for enterprise users.


  1. MongoDB


MongoDB is one among the topmost NoSQL database solutions, which is largely user-friendly, highly scalable, and optimally secure. It coexists in the database management platform with a fair partner ecosystem; however, a largely reduced cost compared to MySQL solutions. IT has a document-orientated database model, which is now used by a large number of Fortune 100 companies.


A couple of years back only, MongoDB entered into the DaaS (database-as-a-service) market with its featured MongoDB Atlas, which was a cloud-hosted DB which was initially available only on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This was however made available later as managed services in the cloud also with pay-per-hour pricing.


MongoDB Stick is the BaaS (backend-as-a-service) which helps the developers to integrate other useful third-party application also with it. For doing this, there is no need to write code or compromise on the security aspects. Such tools give the developers a custom API to MongoDB, which let them configure various services as they wish to be included in the application they build.


  1. Amazon DynamoDB


DynamoDB from Amazon is a managed cloud DBMS, which support document as well as the key-value model in data storage. It is primarily designed for those applications which require single-digit millisecond latency and consistency at any scale. The major features of DynamoDB include the DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) to support the performance at larger scale, and support for storing, key-value data structures, querying, to update the document, and also the integration of the platform with other products of AWS. DynamoDB also performs at ease and let the users monitor, manage, and scale their database tables and enhance its ability to better high-performance handling cases too.


  1. Couchbase


Couchbase also is a very powerful choice among the top NoSQL database platforms. It is meant to build a more responsive and sophisticated enterprise web, mobile, and also IoT-enabled applications by liberating data quickly at scale across all devices and channels. Couchbase has a data model, which runs on schema-less JSON in order to easily adapt to the changing demands of the market, and it is also available with almost no downtime and can support a huge number of users concurrently.


Apart from the above, you also have options like DataStax NoSQL, Apache Cassandra, etc. to choose from. However, as already discussed above, there is no ideal universal choice in terms of NoSQL databases. You need first to delineate your primary requirements and then consider the strength and weakness of each one of these to identify which suites the best to your needs.


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