NoSQL Advantages and Disadvantages


Advantages and Disadvantages of NoSQL

NoSQL is a brand new way used in the storage of data. It was introduced recently as an alternative to SQL Databases and to provide a remedy for the shortcomings of SQL.

What is NoSQL

NoSQL is a short term for Not Only SQL. NoSQL allows the storing of data in terms of documents and key volume pairs rather than the traditional rows and columns of SQL. Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data storage is made possible because of this.

Briefly, we can see some important concepts of the NoSQL:

Documents: Documents defined collection of the records. This corresponds to the tables in the traditional SQL databases. A common way to store the data in JSON format but XML and YAML are also used.

Key-Value Pairs: NoSQL saves the data using the key-value pairs. This means they do not have defined columns rather keys used to store the data.

Popular NoSQL databases include CouchDB, MongoDB, Cassandra databases.

Advantages of NoSQL

NoSQL provides the following databases:

  1. Unstructured Schema: NoSQL provides an easy way to store the data as the structure of the database is not restricted. It can be modified as needed with no limitation. For the applications where the data structure is not final, such as network data, voice, or images, NoSQL provides an efficient way to store/retrieve and process the data.
  2. Scalability: Need for NoSQL was needed because the volume by which data generated was larger than ever. Moreover, data today does not compromise only of text, rather binary data such as images, videos, sounds were becoming common. NoSQL was introduced to improve the scalability of the databases. NoSQL allows the scaling of the database horizontally by adding more servers.
  3. Economical to Use: NoSQL databases are relatively cheaper to install and manage rather than traditional SQL servers. This is because NoSQL does not require licensed servers and data centers to operate bringing down the cost of the application and maintenance.

Disadvantages of NoSQL

While NoSQL provides benefits, it is necessary to consider the disadvantages of adopting it. No solution is final or perfect rather it depends on scenario.

  1. Immature and Less Support: NoSQL is recently introduced. NoSQL does not have as vast a community as SQL. Similarly, it lacks features needed, which are present in traditional SQL databases.
  2. Lack of Analytics: NoSQL is designed to tackle large amounts of data having varying nature. However, when it comes to analytics and drawing business insights, NoSQL is not as efficient as SQL. This again revives the SQL. Today applications usually adopt both the models for varying nature of the use case.
  3. Lack of Consistency: NoSQL suffers from consistency when it comes to storing large amounts of data. SQL databases provide something called ACID transactions (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, Durability) meaning that guarantee of the reliable transactions is present. NoSQL lacks this, compelling programmers to write their custom code for this.