SQL vs. NoSQL Databases

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby
SQL is not the only database that you can use. In this lesson, we'll compare SQL to NoSQL, a challenger format that has a number of important differences.

Different Types of Databases

While it is easy to get into a pattern of thinking that the only type of database that matters is an SQL database, the fact of the matter is that there are other databases out there that are just as functional for their uses as SQL is for its niche. In fact, given the fact that a lot of people find SQL to be a big rigid, one of the most popular of these is aptly titled NoSQL. In this lesson, we'll learn more about each type of database so that you can make the most informed decision possible on which to use.

Using SQL

Before we dig any deeper, let's make sure that we really understand what SQL is. The acronym stands for 'Structured Query Language', which tells us from the beginning that it is going to be rigid. However, for some things, a certain amount of rigidity is perfectly fine, because it helps to avoid errors. That said, what would be an error in a bank database, where rigidity is a virtue, is exactly what the user wants to put in to the database for an alumni registry. Language has to be precise in SQL, as do entries. After all, this is a language that relies heavily on dictating exact data types for each field of a record!

Further, it is possible to scale an SQL database to go faster, a process known as vertical scaling. By increasing the computing power of the server in question, an SQL database can handle more data. Also, frankly, there are plenty more people who really understand SQL on a much deeper level. If you run into a problem, finding someone with a solution is going to be much easier. SQL has been around for decades, which means that there is an incredible amount of wisdom on the subject.

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