In the world of databases, there are two main types: SQL and NoSQL – or relational and non-relational – databases. There are clear differences between them, including how they are built, the type of information they store and how they store it. By understanding what SQL and NoSQL databases are and the distinctions between them, you can make the best choice for your business or organization.
Let’s learn more about relational and non-relational databases, how they differ and how to choose the right one for your operational needs.
What is a Relational Database?
Relational databases are structured. They contain two or more tables with columns and rows. Each row is an entry, and each column sorts a specific type of information, such as a name or address. In order for relational databases to be effective, the data needs to be stored in a structured manner. Some of the most popular SQL databases include Microsoft Access, MySQL and Oracle.
Businesses and organizations rely on relational databases for the following reasons:
- Data can be organized in a simple manner
- Information can be easily retrieved using queries
- Structured format leads to reliable, accurate data
- Highly scalable to accommodate growing businesses
- Database can be normalized for consistency
What is a Non-Relational Database?
Non-relational databases are far more flexible than relational databases because they contain unstructured data. You can think of them as being large file folders that contain all types of information, such as photos and online activity. There is organization to these databases in the form of storing information in documents. The difference is that these documents are not categorized into fields.
A major benefit to NoSQL databases is that they offer a greater ease of access. Users can execute queries without having to learn the basics of SQL. Non-relational databases are also intuitive, fast and efficient. They are ideal for large businesses and organizations that hold a lot of data. If the database needs to be scaled, it can do so without much headache. Popular non-relational databases include Oracle NoSQL, MongoDB and HBase.
What Database is Right for Your Business?
The best way to know what type of database is right for your business or organization is by speaking with a database management company such as Arkware. Start by defining your strategy, the types of data you’re looking to store and the analytics you plan on running. Unless you are a large business with lots of big data to make sense of, a relational database like Microsoft Access should be sufficient for your needs.
For your free consultation, contact Arkware today.