What is NoSQL and why one should use it are the questions that have been in the air for a long time. While there are some who are unfamiliar with the technology, there are many who are looking for a new alternative to solve some of the issues they facing with their current database systems. Through this blog post we aim to demystify NoSQL for the relational database crowd and for the understanding of common information seekers.
What is NoSQL?
A NoSQL database environment is a non-relational and largely distributed database system. It enables rapid, ad-hoc organization of data. It is also very useful to analyze high volume of disparate data types. But what needs to be made clear here is that NoSQL encompasses a wide variety of different database technologies and is not a single beast.
These different database technologies were developed in response to the rising volume of data that was stored about the users, objects and products. Another reason was that the frequency in which these data were accessed also increased over time. To improve the performance and processing needs of the database system, the NoSQL was developed. These are referred to as cloud databases, non-relational databases and Big Data databases.
The most common types of NoSQL Databases
The most common categories of NoSQL available and widely used today by many are listed below:
- Key-Value Store: These databases are designed for storing your data in a schema-less way. The data within it consists an indexed key and a value, hence the name. Common examples of this type of database are Cassandra, Azure Table Storage (ATS).
- Column Store: These store data as columns which makes aggregation fast. But you still have to do object – table modelling and mapping by yourself. Examples include BigTable and HyperTable.
- Document Database: These databases expand on the basic idea of key-value stores. These databases store application information in logical aggregates. Take a scenario where there would be a lot of tables, requiring a lot of joins to pull back an aggregate. Common examples of this type of databases include MongoDB and CouchDB.
- Graph Database: These are based on the graph theory. Graph databases are designed for data whose relations are well represented as a graph. Examples are Neo4J and Polyglot.
Why use NoSQL?
There are many reasons why many are opting for NoSQL databases today. It offers benefits to both, developers as well as the businesses who are need of a strong database system. Here are some reasons that totally make NoSQL a great choice for your next project.
- It improves the programmer’s productivity by letting him / her to choose a database that better matches the application needs that he / she is working on.
- It improves the data access performance since it is capable of handling larger data volumes. So, it reduces latency and improves throughput.
- Most of the NoSQL databases are developed and known to tackle particular, often extreme challenges.
- NoSQL systems, such as Hadoop are capable of handling the volumes of ‘big data’ as compared to what even the biggest of RDBMS.
- NoSQL databases use a number of low cost commodity servers to manage huge volumes of data and transaction, allowing you to store and process more data at a much lower cost.
- NoSQL databases have more relaxed data model restrictions, which is always a good thing.