SQL Vs NoSQL: The Key Differences

When it comes to databases we can broadly categorize them into SQL and NoSQL. Knowing the differences between them will help you to choose a suitable database for your use.

In this article, I will discuss the differences between SQL and NoSQL databases.

What is SQL?

SQL ( Structured Query Language ) is a database query language that is used for managing data held in a relational database. A relational database stores data in tables that can be interrelated to each other.

By using the SQL command you can create databases, tables, insert data to these tables, update an existing table, delete a database or table. It can perform various other operations.

Examples of relational databases

A list of some of the most popular relational databases is given below. These all use SQL for managing data hence also known as SQL databases.

  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • MS SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL
  • MariaDB
  • IBM DB2
  • Sybase
  • SQLite, etc.

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL is a non-relational database that uses JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas that means like a relational database it does not requires predefined schemas for entering data in the database. These are easy to scale and are mostly used for Big data and real-time web applications.

Examples of NoSQL databases

There are various ways to classify NoSQL databases. The basic categories with some examples are given below.

  • Document Type –  MongoDB, OrientDB, Apache CouchDB, IBM Domino, Couchbase, BaseX, Azure CosmosDB, etc.
  • Key-value – Azure CosmosDB, Apache Ignite, Couchbase, Redis, Oracle NoSQL database, InfinityDB, Dynamo, etc.
  • Wide column – Azure CosmosDB, Cassandra, HBase, etc.
  • Graph – Azure CosmosDB, AllegroGraph, Apache Giraph, OrientDB, ArangoDB, etc.

Differences between SQL and NoSQL

The following table shows the difference between SQL and NoSQL.


I hope now you understand the differences between SQL and NoSQL databases. For any query write us in the comments below.

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