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Picking The Right Type Of Database For Your Business: NoSQL vs. RDBMS

Choosing the proper database type for your business is as important a decision as you can make on the technology front.


Choosing the proper database type for your business is as important a decision as you can make on the technology front. Currently, there are two types of database systems that are considered to be head and shoulders above any other style: NoSQL and RDBMS. Each style has it’s benefits and it’s shortcomings and knowing which works best for your implementation will mean the difference between a hassle-free operation and headache waiting to happen.


RDBMS or Relational Database Management System is a database management system based upon a relationship model. The relationship model is based on a logic system that relates all data in terms of tuples (an ordered list or sequence) that are grouped into relations. The purpose of using the relationship model is to provide a method (declarative) in order to specify queries and data. RDBMS gained a favorable chunk of market share due to the easier to understand relationships when upgrading or migrating from older legacy databases.


NoSQL gained its name from the fact that the open-source database normally did not expose the standard SQL interface. The base NoSQL style is based off the relational database model, like RDBMS, but is considered a lighter-weight system that can be more finely tuned to relate specific information. Implementation of NoSQL databases has grown due to the scalability and fault tolerance of the databases design.

Which is Right For Your Business?

Ultimately, the choice of database styles will come down to the specifics of a particular implementation. Consider the following pros and cons of each style and chose the database that is best suited to your needs.

  1. Stability
  2. RDBMS is a proven commodity with positive history
  3. Great reporting and analysis toolsets
  1. Expensive and bulky
  2. May be too much overhead for smaller databases
  3. User training can be prohibitive
  4. Known exploits are a cause for concern
NoSQL Pros NoSQL Cons
  1. Easy to operate and web ready
  2. Inexpensive, quick, and scalable
  3. Difficult to exploit or hack
  1. Reporting can be spotty
  2. Difficult to operate as a newcomer
  3. Limited toolsets
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