Together we produce an unimaginable amount of data every day. And that amount is still growing because more processes are running over the Internet and because the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to increase. Where that data stays is not that interesting for most users. Nonetheless, the choice of what kind of data is stored in the database is important. In this article, we compare SQL and NoSQL.

A database is usually managed by a database management system (DBMS). The data and the DBMS are commonly called the 'database'. SQL and NoSQL are both database languages to store or request files from a physical disk on which the database runs on. How that happens is quite different.

RelationAL databases

Most databases use SQL to write and retrieve data in a set of tables with columns and rows. These are the relational databases. For example, a large part of websites run on WordPress, and that works on LAMP installations (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), so with the very popular SQL database system MySQL. Many well-known business applications, such as SAP and Oracle, also work with SQL databases.

Whatever data you store in the SQL database, you obviously want the data to be correct. The advantage of SQL is that data integrity is guaranteed. The data is only stored in one place. On the other hand, there are often limits to the size of a SQL database.

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More data

NoSQL, or the non-relational database, makes it possible to store large amounts of unstructured data. NoSQL databases are therefore mainly used in the storage of Big Data and in real-time web applications. At NoSQL, data is distributed over several places. This makes it easier to expand the database if necessary. The scalability is also directly the main advantage of a NoSQL database.

When choosing a database, it is therefore important to know in advance what you want to store and how. An expert's advice can certainly help to make the right choices and to guide any transition processes

The 10 principles of system integration applied

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