Non-relational databases are any type of database that does not follow the relational database model. They are also known as NoSQL databases and are growing in popularity as a result of the rise of Big Data and the need to handle the great volumes, variety, and velocity of data.
Non-relational databases came about as an answer to the limitations of relational databases in dealing with Big Data demands. While non-relational technologies can vary greatly in their approach, they do share common traits:
- Development model: NoSQL databases are open source so you don’t need to pay for any software licensing fees upfront.
- Data structure: Non-relational databases are built for unstructured data that doesn’t fit neatly into the rows and columns of relational databases.
- Data models: Unlike relational models which require predefined schema, NoSQL databases offer flexible schema design making it much easier to update the database to reflect changing requirements.
- Scaling: You can scale your system horizontally over cheap, commodity servers.
Of the many non-relational databases that exist, MongoDB is the most popular with over 10 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of deployments. Enterprises of all sizes, from the hottest startups to large, Fortune 100 companies rely on MongoDB to run their mission-critical applications. And according to the latest DB-Engines rankings, MongoDB consistently leads all NoSQL database products.
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