Picking out a programming language for software, app, or web development will be a huge component of the project’s foundation. This means that, as the project adds more features and data, the development tools it’s built with must be able to adapt. There are many useful programming languages but among those are two particularly comparable languages—SQL and NoSQL.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Standard Query Language. It’s an RDBMS, or Relational Database Management System, which uses ‘relations’ (also known as tables) to contain data. Those tables are the basis for relational databases and help developers delete, search, add, and update data records. SQL looks at data definitions, control of access, querying, and manipulation. Companies like Hootsuite and Gauges implements SQL.

Benefits to Using SQL

  • Allows users to access a bigger amount of data effectively and quickly
  • The need for coding is essentially non-existent
  • Can be used as a mobile and PC version

Disadvantages of SQL

  • Interface complexity
  • Lack or inability to gain full control over the database
  • Can be costly for developers or businesses to use

What is NoSQL?

Unlike SQL, NoSQL isn’t an RDBMS. It stands for Not SQL and is easily scalable. Additionally, it doesn’t have a fixed schema or uses joins. NoSQL works great for databases with an exceedingly large amount of data. JavaScript Object Notation, or JSON, documents are a part of NoSQLs and more accessible to the public as well. They have a scalability structure that is horizontal, making it simpler to add servers to the database. Companies implementing NoSQL include Kickstarter and Uber.

Benefits to Using NoSQL

  • Very easy to scale
  • Can handle exceptionally large amounts of data
  • Ability to add on to the database

Disadvantages of NoSQL

  • Has a smaller supportive community of developers
  • Developers can struggle a bit with its interfacing and operability
  • Standardization

Comparing & Contrasting

There is often a combination of SQL and NoSQL databases being used by several businesses. NoSQLs are faster and more scalable than SQL. However, SQL is excellent with structuring data. The most obvious difference between the two is that one is an RDBMS (SQL) and the other isn’t (NoSQL). This affects how data can be manipulated within the database.

SQL has a stronger, larger community than NoSQL since it has been around longer. NoSQL was created after SQL to be an easier development tool for developers to use. It’s still considered a fairly new programming language, which is part of the reason its community is smaller, though it continues to increase.

Last Thoughts

SQL and NoSQL are very much alike since NoSQL was built off of SQL—even if it was designed to be different. The structure, or lack thereof, is what affects how each is used in software, web, and app development the most. Keeping in mind that businesses can use both programming languages in their systems, developers should evaluate the pros and cons of each in relation to how they can benefit the project’s development.