SQL has been ruling the enterprise database world since years, including big giants like Oracle, Microsoft, SAP and the like. With a fundamental design of rows and columns, SQL is still going strong but now facing certain limitations. Here enters a new name in database technology – “NoSQL” known as “Not Only SQL”. It is a promising segment in the database world, which does not restrict itself to the typical traditional SQL database but encompasses a wider periphery specially enterprises needing Big Data services. No doubt, there are still instances where SQL may prove to be stronger, but day by day, it has been observed that NoSQL databases are gaining popularity in new assignments for handling of databases which cannot be handled by traditional SQL systems. NoSQL is mainly known for reduced rigidity in its schemes and lets creation and management of databases be more flexible.
Today’s rapidly moving scenario pushes our developers to adapt to rapid application development, which is where NoSQL provides a helping hand and makes it happen. It, being more flexible, adaptable to multiple configurations and changeable instantaneously, facilitates faster development and hence is getting accepted by the developer community. It also possesses the capabilities to develop interactive apps with social streaming which usually would not fit in a typical SQL scenario.
NoSQL V/s RDBMS – A Comparison
NoSQL is very much use case based. There is no single standard solution that caters to all type of requirements. Depending upon the use case, a NoSQL solution would be available. No doubt, RDBMS is omnipresent, but there are certain use cases, where NoSQL proves to be beneficial. When it comes to the amount or type of data, there are certain cases where RDBMS has to take a back seat.
The major reason for choosing NoSQL is scaling. There are instances where an RDBMS does not scale and a NoSQL solution does. Data Sharding is not very much appreciated by an RDBMS, whose drawback is its horizontally distributed load and data. That is where NoSQL pitches in. It does not distribute logical entities across multiple tables; they are stored at a single place only and do not force referential integrity between these entities but make sure consistency is present inside a single unit of entity. These entities can range from a simplistic value to a complicated thing or may be a JSON doc. This lets them directly distribute data across many database nodes and separately write them.
If there are 20 entities to be written to a database cluster with 3 nodes, the writes can be spread out. It does not need the db to be synchronized within the nodes and does not even require a two phase commit. Unlike RDBMS, where it would ensure referential integrity, NoSQL would not need to do that even.
Types of NoSQL databases
Situations where NoSQL would prove to be beneficial are solutions in the cloud where any node could fail any moment. In such cases, the horizontal scaling nature would lead to instant availability.
There are certain dark areas while implementing NoSQL databases but it definitely is worth implementing depending upon the scenario.