NoSQL Systems VS Traditional Database Systems

As individuals, we often save our data on devices like laptops and phones, but rarely do we consider the databases that underlie these storage systems. Databases are the place where organizations can easily store their data. DBMS is used to manage the database. In this article, we will study the two specific databases NoSQL and Traditional Database. However, their designs diverge, resulting in distinct approaches to data storage and retrieval. Let's explore the below article which gives you depth of understanding about the key differences in each of them.

What is a NoSQL Database?

When we say NoSQL it sounds like not just SQL. This database category diverges from the tabular structure of relational databases, opting for alternative data storage methods. Unlike traditional databases, NoSQL databases highlight flexibility and versatility, making them well-suited for handling large amounts of user data. NoSQL databases offer, allowing developers to efficiently manage substantial volumes of data while simplifying development processes.

A known example of a NoSQL database is MongoDB. It is one of the widely used document-oriented open-source databases. It stores the data in semi-structured documents, unlike relational tables with tuples and attributes.

Types of NoSQL

Let’s Explore the Types of NoSQL Databases

  • Key-value database − In this type of database, items are organized with keys and their corresponding values.

  • Document database − In this type, the data is placed or stored in the documents which is the same as JSON objects. This document has fields and values. The data type is not necessarily of the same type it can be number, Boolean, strings, array, and objects.

  • Wide-column database − In this type, data is stored in a tabular format that has rows, and dynamic columns.

  • Graph databases − As its name suggests it stores data in the form of nodes and edges. Here Edge represents the relationship between Nodes whereas the Nodes stores the actual data.

Benefits of Using the NoSQL

Utilizing NoSQL databases has several advantages that make them a perfect choice for various types of applications. Below are some listed benefits −

  • Dynamic Schema − NoSQL databases offer adaptable data schemas that seamlessly accommodate changing requirements without intricate alterations to queries. This attribute proves beneficial for projects with rapidly evolving data models.

  • Scalability − NoSQL databases facilitate horizontal scaling by distributing data across multiple nodes. This capability contributes to achieving optimal system performance.

  • Versatile Data Models − NoSQL supports various data models previously delineated (key-value, document, columnar, and graph). This empowers developers to select the most fitting data model for their needs.

  • Enhanced Performance − NoSQL databases exhibit impressive performance, particularly when handling semi-structured data.

What is a Traditional Database?

Traditional Database refers to the database which is used to store structured data within tables. These databases are built upon the relational model. It follows a Tabular structure where data is organized in tables with rows and columns and employs a fixed schema that defines the data structure, including column data types and table relationships. It utilizes the normalization process to minimize redundancy in tables. It operates with SQL (Structured Query Language) for executing operations like Insert, Create, Update, Delete, etc. It provides various constraints such as Foreign Key and Unique Key to maintain data integrity and supports vertical scalability, allowing the addition of more resources to the database.

Well known real-world example of Traditional DBMS is Microsoft SQL Server. It was developed by Microsoft. It adheres to the fundamental principles of the relational model and is favored by diverse enterprises seeking to organize their structured data within a tabular framework. This system finds application across businesses of varying scales, catering to both small and large businesses.

Traditional DBMSs are generally known as relational databases. However, there are other categories that reside in this type.

  • Object-Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS) − It merges the features of RDBMS and object-oriented programming. For example: PostgreSQL, and IBM Informix.

  • Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) − It utilizes the relations (tables) to store, delete, and update the data. For Examples: PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server

  • Flat-File Database Management System − It stores the data in flat text files. Here every file relates to a table where data is stored. For example: Microsoft Access

Difference Between Traditional and NoSQL Database

The below table gives you an idea about the major difference between them −

Characteristics NoSQL Database Traditional Database
Data Model Document, key-value, columnar, and graph Relational Data model
Schema Dynamic Schema Fixed Schema
Scalability Horizontal Scalability Vertical Scalability
Query language MongoDB and other query languages Structured Query Language
Use Case It is utilized for unstructured or semi-structured data and used in Social Networks, Big data analytics, etc. It is utilized for structured data and used in ERP and financial systems, etc.


We can conclude that it is necessary to understand the needs of your organization's database and its type and accordingly choose the DBMS. Both Traditional and NoSQL have their own characteristics. The developer can choose the DBMS based on data structure, speed, and scalability requirements.

Updated on: 06-Nov-2023


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