Types of NoSQL Databases and When to Use Them

In the world of data management, NoSQL databases have become increasingly popular in recent years. Because they have the ability to handle large and complex data sets that traditional relational databases can struggle with. NoSQL databases offer a non-relational and flexible approach to data management. Also, they come in several different types, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Today, we will provide an overview of the four main types of NoSQL databases. They are document databases, key-value stores, column-oriented databases, and graph databases.

Document Databases

Document databases, such as MongoDB and CouchDB, store data in a hierarchical structure similar to JSON or XML. Each document represents a separate data item, and each document can contain multiple fields with varying data types. This makes document databases well-suited for handling complex and nested data structures, such as those found in web applications and IoT devices.

When to use a document database:

    • To store complex, semi-structured data, such as user profiles or product information, in a hierarchical format.
    • To perform complex queries, such as aggregation and filtering, on your data.
    • To handle frequent updates to your data and the ability to version control and rollback changes.
Types of NoSQL Databases schema

Key-Value Stores

Key-value stores, such as Redis and Riak, store data as a collection of keys and values. Key-value stores are optimized for fast read and write operations. This makes them a popular choice for caching and session management. Key-value stores are simple to use. So, they are designed to handle large amounts of data with low latency.

When to use a key-value store:

    • To store simple data structures, such as session data or user preferences, and retrieve them quickly.
    • To handle high write and read throughput, and when low latency is a top priority.
    • To scale horizontally, by adding more nodes to the system, to handle an increased volume of data and traffic.
NoSQL Databases diagram

Column-Oriented Databases

Column-oriented databases, such as Apache Cassandra and HBase, store data in columns instead of rows. Each column represents a separate data item, and data is stored together with similar data items in a column-family. This allows column-oriented databases to handle large amounts of data with a high degree of parallelism. This makes them well-suited for big data applications.

When to use a column-oriented database:

    • To handle large amounts of data.
    • To get high performance for read and write operations.
    • To store time-series data, such as stock market data or sensor readings, and perform fast analysis on the data.
    • To handle data that is partitioned across multiple nodes.
    • To ensure that the data is consistently distributed and available.
Diagram showing how NoSQL databases are structured

Graph Databases

Graph databases, such as Neo4j and Amazon Neptune, store data as nodes and edges in a graph structure. Graph databases are ideal for handling complex relationships between data, such as those found in social networks and recommendation systems. Graph databases can store and retrieve large amounts of interconnected data quickly. So, they become well-suited for real-time data analysis.

When to use a graph database:

    • To handle complex relationships between data items, such as relationships between people in a social network or between products in a recommendation system.
    • To perform real-time data analysis and fast query performance.
    • To handle large and dynamic data sets
    • To provide the ability to add and remove relationships between data items easily.

Choosing the right types of NoSQL database

In this blog, we offer you the main types of NoSQL database. Choosing the right type of NoSQL database for your use case can be a daunting task. However, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each type can make it easier. Whether you need to handle complex data structures, perform fast read and write operations, handle large amounts of data, or handle complex relationships between data, there is always a well-suited one among the types of NoSQL database for your needs.

Mysoly, a leading data management company, offers solutions designed to help you make the most of your NoSQL database investments. Mysoly’s team of experts will work with you to understand your data management needs and help you select the right NoSQL database for your use case.

You can also check out our other article about NoSQL databases.

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