Posts tagged "SQL vs. NoSQL"

Choosing SQL or NoSQL

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.

Picking a Database: SQL or NoSQL?

The use of databases allows for many functions in the tech industry. There are two types of databases that developers use—SQL and NoSQL.

What is an SQL database and what is it used for?

Standing the test of time, SQL is the Java of databases. It’s used in majority of software compared to NoSQL databases.

Structured Query Language (SQL) databases follow a model of relation, hence why they are called relational databases. This means that data is organized into relation groups. It’s a form of structuring data and organizing it by using database schema—the connection between fields of data in tables and the tables themselves. Additionally, SQL databases are English-based. They use commands like ‘INSERT’, ‘DELETE’, ‘SELECT’, and so on to manipulate data.

Examples of SQL Databases

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MariaDB

What is a NoSQL database and what is it used for?

NoSQL databases are much younger than SQL databases. As the name suggests, these databases don’t use the same structure as their predecessor. NoSQL databases were designed to disregard the strict process involved with relational models, earning the characteristic, ‘schemaless’. They target large amounts of data while focusing on efficient scaling and adaptability.

With this flexibility and lack of schema, NoSQL databases were divided based on the models they used, some of which are:

  • Document: The name is self-explanatory—this model is analyzed through unique keys for each document and searches for specific content they contain.
  • Graph: It’s presented as a visualization of mathematical data, which can be searched based on formulas, for example.

Some examples of NoSQL databases are Cassandra, Redis, and MongoDB.

Which is better?

By separating the databases into different categories, their strengths and weaknesses become more apparent.

  1. Schema or no schema

The structure of schemas allow for better organization within a database and can be easier to search data. However, schemaless databases make adding data much simpler. This means businesses who are continuously changing may find NoSQL databases to be a better fit.

  1. Accessibility & the integrity of data

SQL databases process commands one at a time, though they can identify problems sooner. Performance is slowed because of this. If faster performance speed access to data results are needed, NoSQL databases are a good choice since they run commands one after another without waiting for the results of previous commands.

  1. Joining

Normalization, or the deletion of multiple copies of the same information, is used in SQL databases. This helps when data needs to be combined across different tables. On the other hand, with NoSQL databases, the only way to do this is to make a specific folder for this information in order to join it together.

The Result

Each database is used for different reasons that are entirely up to the developer. SQL databases are best used to protect sensitive data and large collections of data that needs to be sectioned. An example of this is banks. NoSQL databases are preferred for simultaneous tasks that need to be conducted quickly and can be easily accessed. Text searching millions of pieces of data in an app is a good example. Ultimately, the purpose of a database, as well as what information it would hold, is one of the most important things to consider when choosing whether to use and SQL or NoSQL database.