What is the difference between relational and non relational databases? This article defines both database types and explains when you might use one or the other.
What is a relational database?
A relational database is a type of database that stores data in tables. Each table stores information about a specific topic, and the tables are linked together by common fields. This type of database is easy to use and understand, making it a good choice for small businesses and individual users.
What is a non-relational database?
A non-relational database is a type of database that does not store data in tables. Instead, this type of database uses a hierarchical structure to store data. Non-relational databases are often used by large businesses and organizations that need to manage complex data.
Difference between relational and non-relational database
The main difference between relational and non-relational databases is the way that data is stored. Relational databases use tables to store data, while non-relational databases use a hierarchical structure. This makes relational databases easier to use and understand, while non-relational databases are better suited for managing complex data.
This table will show you the key difference between relational and non-relational database.
|Criteria||Relational Database||Non-relational Database|
|Definition||The data is stored in tables.||It uses hierarchical structure to store data|
|Stored Items||The stored items have relationships with each other||The stored items can be structured, unstructured or semi-structured data.|
|Data Integration||Due to constraints and relationships, data integrity is high||Data integration is difficult|
|Storage Capacity||It is suitable for medium to large data size||Large amount of data size|
|Reliability||It is highly reliable database||Its reliability is low|
|Scalability||The scalability cost is very high||It is highly scalable|
|Pros||i) data integrity, |
ii) data accuracy,
iv) basic structure is easy to understand
v) easy access of data due to its simplicity,
vi) more secure
vii) it can be multi-user
|i) Can easily handle unstructured data, |
ii) high performance,
iii) dynamic changes do not effect other items of database,
iv) it is open-source
v) flexible data model
|Cons||i) Data processing is slow,|
ii) there is no support for complex data types
iii) expensive hardware needed for its scalability.
|i) Its functionality is limited, |
ii) manual query language,
iii) data consistency is poor,
iv) backup and consistency issues
|Examples||Relational database examples include MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle Database||Non-relational database examples are MongoDB, Cassandra, DocumentDB etc.|
Which type of database is right for you?
If you need a simple database that is easy to use and understand, then a relational database is the best choice. If you need a database that can manage complex data, then a non-relational database is the best choice.
However, keep in mind that non-relational databases can be more difficult to use than relational databases. Before choosing a database, you should consider the databases’ characteristics and limitations and compare them to your company’s needs. You will be in a better position to decide whether relational database is good for you or non-relational database.
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