NoSQL Vs SQL: What’s the Difference?


The rivalry between NoSQL and SQL is enormous that we sometimes defined as NoSQL Vs SQL. One of the most significant decisions is choosing a database when it comes to picking like relational (SQL) or non-relational (NoSQL) data structure.

Before jumping to the war of differences, Let’s know the history of the invention of the database. The man, Larry Ellison, was the mastermind. He founded Oracle in the 1970s, and the idea took from IBM’s Edgar F. Cobb. He took for SQL relational database to create the Oracle database RDBMS (relational database management system). He used to be one of the richest men in the world at that time and has been for decades.

On those days, all applications ran on IBM mainframes, and there was free software virtually since the Oracle was in position number one in the market. Oracle is in the monopoly position for most transactional business software. And after that, Oracle purchased MySQL, the most used opensource alternative, and has even purchased opensource Java. And the good news is that those remain free.

SQL (Structured Query Language) is a programming language that we use to manage data in the relational database. On the other hand, NoSQL refers to a non-relational, high-performance database that utilizes a variety of data models. While both of these are outstanding options, but there are some significant differences between the two. Each has crystal clear advantages and disadvantages, which you must keep in mind when making a decision. Here below, you are getting to know the key differences between SQL and NoSQL for helping you choose the best database.

NoSQL Vs SQL is our target, but before that, let’s discuss a little bit in detail both of them individually.

What is SQL?

This is structured Query Language, an acronym of SQL. You can pronounce it as “S_Q_L,” or some people call it “See-Quel. SQL is a programming language that uses for storing, manipulating, and retrieving data in the relational database management system. It is mostly used for structured data where we have communication between entities and variables of the data.

As it is a relational database, it defines relationships in the form of tables. This programming language can utilize to insert, search, update, delete database records. By the way, that doesn’t mean SQL cannot do beyond that. It can also do optimizing the maintenance of the database.

We have some common relational database management systems that use SQL, and these are Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Access, Ingres. These management systems tell us the winner of NoSQL Vs SQL.

IBM’s Edgar F. Cobb describes a database where objects queried using something called SQL. He used SQL to make both data and schema, which describes fields in columns. SQL database is called a row in a single record.

SQL gradually became a standard programming language of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986, after that International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified in 1987. Since then, the quality has been upgraded to include a broader set of features. Although the standard of SQL was right, most SQL code is not entirely portable among the different database systems. A user is always looking for alternatives, and they sometimes compare SQL against NoSQL like NoSQL Vs SQL.

What is NoSQL:

NoSQL never requires a fixed schema, avoids joins, and it is easy to scale because it is a non-relational DMS. It is called a Non-relational or distributed database primarily. The type of NoSQL databases can be document-based and graph databases. Usually, NoSQL we used for big data and also for real-time web apps. There are some big companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter collect terabytes of user data every single day.

At first, Carl Strozz introduced NoSQL concent, and it was in 1998. Do you know what is NoSQL stands for? It stands for “Not Only SQL” or “Not SQL.” Although the better term for NoSQL would be NoREL NoSQL. Unlike SQL syntax, a NoSQL database system uses a wide range of database technologies that can keep structure, semi-structured, unstructured, and polymorphic data.

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Examples of NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, Redis, Neo4j, Cassandra, Hbase.

From the above details, we can say the war of NoSQL Vs SQL is a tough one.

NoSQL Vs SQL: Major Differences

Here we will illustrate the four major war (NoSQL Vs SQL) between SQL and NoSQL. These are the factors very essential while deciding on what will be the best data management system for your organization. These differences are:


We all know that SQL databases are table-based, which makes them the best option for applications that need multi-row transactions. These are maybe accounting systems or legacy systems that were initially created for a relational structure.

On the other hand, NoSQL databases are key-value pairs, graph databases, wide-column stores, or document-based structure.


SQL databases is a database of the structured query language (SQL) for manipulating and defining data. This is extremely powerful. SQL is one of the most used and versatile options available on the market. It is a safe choice and especially great for complex queries. It can be restrictive too. You should use predefined schemas to identify the structure of your data before you work on it, SQL requires it. A change in the structure might be both tough and disruptive to your whole system.

On the other hand, NoSQL data can be stored in many ways and have dynamic schemas for unstructured data. NoSQL data can be column-oriented, document-oriented, graph-based, or organized as a Key-Value store. It means that:

  • You will be able to create documents without fixing the first to define their structure.
  • You can create a unique structure for each document.
  • The syntax may vary from database to database and lastly
  • You can add fields as you want.


Most of the time, the SQL database is vertically scalable, which means you can increase the load anytime on a single server by increasing CPU, SSD, or RAM.

NoSQL database, on the other hand, is horizontally scalable. It means that you will be able to handle more traffic by sharing or adding servers in your NoSQL database. You can say it’s like adding more floors to your same building instead of adding more buildings to the neighborhood. It can ultimately become larger and powerful, creating NoSQL databases the preferred choice for large or ever-changing data sets.


The last thing to think about when debating NoSQL Vs SQL is their community. Undoubtedly, SQL has a vast community. Because of the maturity level of SQL, It has a stronger and more qualified community compared to the NoSQL. Experts can share their knowledge in thousands of forums, and beginners also can gain ideas from that chats and forums. And they are continuously enhancing their skills. By the way, NoSQL is also multiplying, and their community is building up their empire. Although its community is not as well established as SQL dua to the fact it is still compared to new.

NoSQL Vs SQL: Security

At first, it is necessary to know the meaning of database security. For a database, it is required to provide confidentiality, integrity as well as availability, which is known as the CIA.

Let’s break down the CIA of credential, integrity, and availability.

The meaning of credentials is that only authorized users or systems can access the data in the database.

Integrity is about the accuracy and consistency of the data, and availability is all about the data that should be available whenever it is required.

Many enterprise-based relational or SQL databases like MSSQL or Oracle have their healthy security functions integrated into them. They follow the ACID properties, which firmly guarantee the secure and reliable database transactions.

By the way, RDBMS also has features like role-based security systems, access-control via user permissions, and encrypted messages, and so on. But one thing should remember, these security features do need a substantial licensing fee and may affect the speed of data access.

The NoSQL database has very few inbuilt security functions for allowing faster data access, which you will not get in the SQL database. NoSQL databases have a lack of confidentiality, integrity attributes, as well as they do not have a fixed, well-defined schema.

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Hence, As NoSQL database does not offer stronger security features, the database is an easier target for security attack compared to the relational (SQL) database.

You got the result for the NosQL vs SQL war but many more differences are left. Do not decide now.

NoSQL Vs SQL: Pros & Cons

There are some pros and cons below that will also help you to decide the best one:

NoSQL Pros:

  • Able to handling big data.
  • NoSQL gives very affordable solutions to small enterprises.
  • It is a low-cost database.
  • You can add more servers to the pool, as NoSQL is schema-free.
  • It is easier, and you do not have to enhance the hardware for scaling.
  • You will not need detailed database modeling. Hence it saves your time and effort.

Cons of  NoSQL :

  • NoSQL comes at the cost of replacing ACID properties.
  • NoSQL offers only eventual consistency.
  • Relatively fewer community chats and forums.

SQL Pros:

  • SQL is highly demanded relational databases.
  • It has a predefined schema.
  • You can normalize greatly. Thus it helps in removing redundancy and organizing data in a better way too.
  • Code-free.
  • SQL is unbeatable in terms of speed in retrieving database records more excellently.
  • It always uses single standardized language such as SQL across different RDBMS.

SQL Cons:

  • The process of enabling is complex.
  • The view becomes inactive whenever a table is dropped.
  • As SQL is an object for sure, It takes spaces.

NoSQL Vs SQL: Deciding the Best Database System

Now let’s dive deep into the topic to decide which one is best available right now. We have established the significant structural differences above. We are starting NoSQL database systems. After that, we will decide on SQL database systems.

So, Below we will talk about some crucial options of both of these database systems and that opportunities will be deciding factors for the war NoSQL Vs SQL.

NoSQL Non-Relational Database Systems:

So, These options or systems need a little more technical expertise to understand. We will start with MongoDB.


  • Free to use: Published in October 2018, and the database is free to use.
  • Dynamic schema: It gives you flexibility.
  • Scalability: It horizontally scalable.
  • Speed: High-speed for simple queries.
  • Who should use it? MongoDB is the best option for businesses that are rapidly growing.

Apache Cassandra:

  • Free and Open-Source: Apache took over the project in 2010 after Facebook made Cassandra.
  • Active Everywhere: You, as a user, can write and read from all Cassandra nodes.
  • Offer Excellent Data Protection
  • Who should use it? You can use it with IoT (Internet of Things) technology because it offers fast.

Google Cloud BigTable:

  • Machine learning: It features storage for machine learning applications.
  • Easy to Integrate: It integrates very well with open-source data analytics tools.
  • Highly Scalable
  • Low latency: According to Google itself, BigTable offers a sub-10ms latency.
  • Who should use it? Google says BigQuery is a good fit for fintech, IoT, and advertising technology and other use cases.

Apache HBase:

Apache Hbase is created for working with an extensive database.

Who should use it? When you need random, real-time reading or writing access to your big data.

Relational SQL database systems:

But, You should keep in mind that the best SQL database systems offer compatibility with NoSQL nowadays. By the way, they still work well with relational SQL structures.

Below the Options for SQL and compare them with above to choose NoSQL Vs SQL confusion:


  • Maturity: MySQL is a well-established database system. It has a significant number of communities.
  • Compatibility: It is available for all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
  • Cost-effective: Database is open-source and free of cost.
  • Who should use it? It is a reliable choice for any business that will good for predefined structure and set schemas.

Oracle Database:

  • Professionally Developed: Oracle itself develops and manages the oracle database system.
  • Expensive: Oracle is one of the costly choices available.
  • Who should use it?For an enterprise organization that has a large amount of data required and enough budget.

Microsoft SQL Server:

  • Professionally developed and managed
  • A unique SQL “Dialect.”
  • SQL Server only works for Windows and Linux based systems.
  • Who should use it? Microsoft SQL Server is an ideal option for small-to-medium-sized organizations.

So, Now at the end of the war, It’s time to decide your choice from NoSQL Vs SQL.

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