Difference between SQL and NoSQL

Written by: Destiny Idika

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Published 3 Years Ago On Monday, October 25, 2021
Updated 2 Years Ago On Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Both SQL and NoSQL are completely different concept, The following sections will aid better understanding.

1. Structured Query Language (SQL)

This is a Database language for storing, retrieving and accessing database. SQL stores data in the form of data-tables i.e. SQL is a relational database system (RDBMS). It contains queries like commands which allows the accessing, the retrieving and manipulation of data.
These commands are standardized for making the migration of projects easy from one system to the other.
Example of such commands is: The SELECT command; which can be used to select a particular record or group of records from a given table. It is used to select only those records which we need to perform any action on. The selected records are then stored in the result-set and any action (if required) is performed on only those records.

Likewise, many more commands are available with the SQL which makes us communicate with our database easily and thus in a way handles our database for us.

SQL is used to build complex databases which have the capability to handle large amount of data in structured format.

Some examples of the SQL database management systems are:

  1. MySQL
  2. Oracle
  3. Sqlite
  4. PostgreSQL

2. NoSQL

As the name suggests “NoSQL” is just the opposite of SQL. All the features are reversed in NoSQL.
NoSQL on the other hand is a non-relational database management system which is used for developing database for companies with low budget and small amount of data to work on. NoSQL has greater flexibility than SQL because it stores data in the form of graphs, charts, objects ad offers a room for new data entries to be accommodated easily in the database despite of their uniqueness.

But database researchers seek this flexibility as a misguiding feature when it comes to cross platform migration of such databases.
One more point of difference is the lack of standardization of the database query formats. This is another issue that needs to be solved to popularize NoSQL. With this, NoSQL also requires a documentation rich community for problem solving and with easy to learn tutorials to guide new developers take the advantage of this emerging technology.

Some examples of the NoSQL database management systems are:

  1. MongoDB
  2. BigTable
  3. Redis
  4. RavenDB
  5. Cassandra
Major Difference between SQL and NoSQL

SQL is Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)
NoSQL is Non-relational database system.
SQL databases require a schema to be developed in advance and all the data is stored according to that schema
NoSQL databases have dynamic schema.
data in SQL is stored in form of tables, Row, Column
data in NoSQL is stored in from of objects, documents, graphs,  key-value pairs etc.
SQL uses standardized SQL Syntax commands to query the data
NoSQL uses non-standardized query formats to retrieve the data
SQL databases are used when data to be stored is huge and complex database is required
NoSQL databases are used when data to be stored is less, not complex and budget is low

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