When a disruptive technology enters into the market and gains widespread adoption, it is typically because it offers a better, more efficient and cheaper solution. NoSQL databases disrupted the database market by offering a more flexible, scalable, and less expensive alternative to relational databases. They also were built to better handle the requirements of Big Data applications.
NoSQL databases differ from older, relational technology in four main areas:
- Data models: A NoSQL database lets you build an application without having to define the schema first unlike relational databases which make you define your schema before you can add any data to the system. No predefined schema makes NoSQL databases much easier to update as your data and requirements change.
- Data structure: Relational databases were built in an era where data was fairly structured and clearly defined by their relationships. NoSQL databases are designed to handle unstructured data (e.g., texts, social media posts, video, email) which makes up much of the data that exists today.
- Scaling: It’s much cheaper to scale a NoSQL database than a relational database because you can add capacity by scaling out over cheap, commodity servers. Relational databases, on the other hand, require a single server to host your entire database. To scale, you need to buy a bigger, more expensive server.
- Development model: NoSQL databases are open source whereas relational databases typically are closed source with licensing fees baked into the use of their software. With NoSQL, you can get started on a project without any heavy investments in software fees upfront.
It’s no surprise then that NoSQL databases are so popular these days. And when companies look to a NoSQL database for their mission-critical applications, they choose MongoDB. MongoDB is the most downloaded NoSQL database with 10 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of deployments. MongoDB is also the only database of this new generation that combines the innovations of NoSQL with the best aspects of relational databases in its Nexus Architecture. Read the case study to learn the planning, process and findings of Apollo Group's evaluation of MongoDB against Oracle.