Is NoSQL still the next big thing in System Architecture?

Since the 70s, SQL, stands for Structured Query Language, has been the overdog in terms of Database Management. It was first developed by two IBM researchers Raymond Boyce and Donald Chamberlin. SQL is a programming language that is used to communicate with and manipulate databases. SQL programs are used by businesses and other organizations to access and manipulate the data and information contained in their databases, as well as to create and alter new tables.

However, since the late 2000s, NoSQL climbed up the charts as the next trend in industry. But, What is NoSQL, What role does it play in modern development, Is it still the future in System Architecture?

First, Let’s take a look at NoSQL.

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL Database is a non-relational Data Management System, that does not require a fixed schema. It avoids joins, and is easy to scale. The major purpose of using a NoSQL database is for distributed data stores with humongous data storage needs. NoSQL database stands for “Not Only SQL” or “Not SQL”.

NoSQL Databases are mainly categorized into four types. Key-value Pair Based, Column-oriented Graph, Graphs based, and Document-oriented. Each category has its unique attributes and limitations.

Understanding a NoSQL databases is bit harder compared to traditional SQL tables. Furthermore, a NoSQL database allows for fast access to lots of data. A NoSQL database is great for finding one piece of data quickly and operating on it.

Why you should go for NoSQL?

NoSQL is horizontally scalable. It implies that you can expand the database to include a larger number of servers. It’s useful for applications that need more power and coverage. It’s simple to implement and offers a high availability.

MongoDB Atlas is a great place to start if you want to try a NoSQL database.
Atlas is a MongoDB-managed database service that is available on all of the major cloud providers. Other than that Redis, DynamoDB, RavenDB, also uses NoSQL databases.

Conclusion : Is it worth?

With that many advantages, there are some downsides in NoSQL too. Many applications still need the constraints, consistency, and protections provided by SQL databases. And also, NoSQL does not optimize data to remove duplicates as SQL does. Because of duplicated data actual database can be very large.

That being said, still many big companies like Amazon, Adobe and Qualcomm uses NoSQL as their databases. However, hype of NoSQL has been decreased among general population compared to late 2010s.

As you can see, NoSQL is versatile and efficient, but it isn’t the end-all solution for database management. It takes some time to figure out which database to use and then to learn the basics of how that database works.

Hi ! I am Sanda. I am a Software Engineering undergraduate from Colombo.