Both the SQL database and NoSQL database stores data but each of the databases stores data differently. However, People often get confused between when to use NoSQL vs SQL database databases whereas choosing which databases to use when totally depends on the type of information to be stored, None of them is a replacement for each other rather they are just an option for the user to choose among, even they can choose both depending on their requirements.

This article will cover up what SQL and NoSQL are, the differences between NoSQL and SQL databases, and when you should use NoSQL databases and SQL databases.

What is NoSQL Vs SQL database in brief?

NoSQL (non SQL, Not only SQL) is a non-relational database so they are not bound to store data only in the tabular form like in SQL, they can store unstructured and unrelated data in JSON documents, Graphs, and key values also.MongoDB is one of the popular NoSQL databases.

NoSql vs SQL Database

SQL ( Structured Query Language)is a domain-specific language used to manage and manipulate data in a relational database management system (RDBMS). This relational database stores data in the form of tables, SQL databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL are some famous SQL databases.

Top 10 Important Points to Compare NoSql vs SQL Database

CategorySQL DatabaseNoSQL Database
Databaserelational database (RDBMS)non-relational or distributed databases
Data StorageData are stored only in tabular form of rows and columnsData are stored in the following format:-
Document: JSON documents, Key-value: key-value pairs, Wide-column: tables with rows and dynamic columns, Graph: nodes and edges
Development HistoryThe 1970sthe late 2000s
Query LanguageStructured query language (SQL)No declarative query language
SchemasPredefined schemaDynamic schema
Scalingvertically scalablehorizontally scalable
Open-sourceA mix of open-source and commercialOpen-source
Importancebest suited for complex querynot so good for complex query
Multi-Record ACID TransactionsSupportedMostly not supported but supported in MongoDB
Hierarchical data storageNot Suitablesuitable as they support the key-value pair method
ExampleMySQL, Oracle, MS-SQL, SQLiteMongoDB, Apache CouchDB.
NoSQL vs SQL Database Comparision Using 10 Important Points 1

We should be clear on choosing between sql and nosql after going through the above comparison.

When to use SQL ove NoSQL?

  • If you are working with complex queries
  • When you are working with highly structured data where they doesn’t change very frequently
  • When you have requirement for Multi-Record ACID Transactions support
  • It is the ideal choice for high transaction application as it ensures stability ,consistency and data integrity
  • For building custom dashboards, SQL stores and fetches data from the database very quickly.

When to use nosql over SQL?

File:Mongodb.png - Wikimedia Commons
  • NoSQL is the best option if you are dealing with a huge volume of structured, unrelated and unstructured data
  • When you are dealing with applications with a highly flexible schema and there is a constant need of adding new features and functions
  • When data consistency and 100% data integrity is not the goal and ACID support is not needed
  • NoSQL is an ideal option for big data applications, real-time analytics, etc.
  • When scalability and availability is the top priority


Finally, the decision of when to choose NoSQL over sql database depends totally on an individual, but in this article, we have given you a brief idea about the scenarios when to choose NoSQL over SQL. Although both have their own pros and cons.SQL is the best option while dealing with established structured data with fixed schemas and NoSQL is the best option while dealing with unstructured and unrelated data with flexible schemas and a high need for scalability and flexibility.

Does NoSQL Support Multi-Record ACID Transactions?

Most of the NoSQL databases do not support ACID Transactions except MongoDB.

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