An In-depth Comparison of NoSQL and SQL Databases No One Gave You

An In-depth Comparison of NoSQL and SQL Databases
SQL databases have been in use since the 1970s. NoSQL databases are an improvisation over them and have been developed in the 2000s. Techspirited explains and differentiates between these two kinds of databases.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The NoSQL technology was developed as an improvisation over the SQL technology. Search engines like Google, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and e-commerce companies like Amazon are among the pioneers of this technology.
A database is a collection of related information. To create a database and manage it efficiently, we use a database management system. It is a software system that facilitates the creation, maintenance, and use of an electronic database.
What is an SQL Database?
The first attempt to cater to the need of data storage applications in the 1970s was an SQL Database. Relational databases like SQL databases are based on relational algebra which is derived from set theory. An SQL database is the one that uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to store, manage, and retrieve data. In an SQL database, data is stored in the form of rows and columns.
What is a NoSQL Database?
The term NoSQL stands for Not only SQL. A NoSQL database was developed in the 2000s to improvise over the limitations of SQL databases, especially scale, replication, and unstructured data storage issues. In a NoSQL database, the schema for storing data is not a table. These databases can also be called structured storage systems. It allows you to change the format of the data whenever you want, even from record to record.
Here, we give you a detailed comparison of an SQL and a NoSQL database.
Basic Difference
SQL Database
It is a relational database.

NoSQL Database
It is not a relational database. It is in fact structured storage.
Format
SQL Database
Data is stored in a table in a row and column format.

NoSQL Database
Data is stored in a format which is document-based or in key-value pairs, graph stores, or wide-column stores.
Scalability
SQL Database
It is vertically scalable. It means that in an SQL database, data is mostly stored on a single server. To cope with the increasing demand, the capacity of the server of such a database has to be increased i.e. that of the CPU, RAM, and SSD. Further arrangements have to be made, if we want to distribute the data load on more than one server.
NoSQL Database
It is horizontally scalable. To cope with the increasing demand, it is possible for the administrator to add more commodity servers or cloud instances as per the requirement. The database itself has the mechanism to distribute data over multiple servers.
Query Language
SQL Database
To query the data, Structured Query Language (SQL) is used.

NoSQL Database
A high-level declarative query language like SQL is not present. Every architecture has its own query language. For example, graph databases have a declarative query specification called SPARQL. You can fetch data via a RESTful interface or query APIs.
Properties
SQL Database
It follows the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) properties.

NoSQL Database
It follows the Brewers CAP (Consistency, Availability, and Partition tolerance) theorem.
Suitable Transactions
SQL Database
These databases are atomic and have integrity of data. Hence they are suitable for heavy and complex transactions. It is easier to update the data.

NoSQL Database
Comparatively, they are not as stable for heavy, complex transactions.
Examples
SQL Database
MySql, Oracle, Sqlite, Postgres, and MS-SQL are some examples of an SQL database.

NoSQL Database
MongoDB, BigTable, Redis, RavenDb, Cassandra, Hbase, Neo4j and CouchDb are some examples of NoSQL databases.
Depending on the structure of the data, you have to decide which database to use. If your data can fit into a row-column format you should go in for an SQL database. If your data can be represented in key-value pairs, document-based databases, wide-column formats, or graph databases you should opt for the corresponding database of the NoSQL type.