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Guide to NoSQL databases: How they can help users meet big data needs

Learn about NoSQL technologies, and get advice from experienced users and consultants on how to select the right database software for your business needs and how to effectively deploy and manage NoSQL databases.


Relational databases built around the SQL programming language have long been the top -- and, in many cases, only -- choice of database technologies for organizations. Now, with the emergence of various NoSQL software platforms, IT managers and business executives involved in technology decisions have more options on database deployments. NoSQL databases support dynamic schema design, offering the potential for increased flexibility, scalability and customization compared to relational software. That makes them a good fit for Web applications, content management systems and other uses involving large amounts of non-uniform data requiring frequent updates and varying field formats. In particular, NoSQL technologies are designed with "big data" needs in mind.

But for prospective users, the array of NoSQL database choices may seem confusing or even overwhelming. NoSQL databases are grouped into four primary product categories with different architectural characteristics: document databases, graph databases, key-value databases and wide column stores. Many NoSQL platforms are also tailored for specific purposes, and they may or may not work well with SQL technologies, which could be a necessity in some organizations. In addition, most NoSQL systems aren't suitable replacements for relational databases in transaction processing applications, because they lack full ACID compliance for guaranteeing transactional integrity and data consistency.

As a result, IT and business professionals making database buying decisions must carefully evaluate whether the available NoSQL options fit their business needs. In this guide, you can learn more about what NoSQL software can do and how it differs from relational databases. Trend stories and user case studies document how NoSQL databases can be used to support big data, cloud computing and business analytics applications. And experienced users from companies that have already deployed NoSQL tools offer advice on how to make the technology selection and implementation process smoother.

1News and trends-

What NoSQL databases bring to the table

Depending on the business problem an organization is trying to solve, IT decision makers may need to compare the benefits of NoSQL software and relational databases. The term "NoSQL" doesn't necessarily mean "no SQL at all" -- it also is commonly defined as "not only SQL" because many NoSQL databases do support some elements of SQL. But they don't rely on SQL's fixed-schema design principles, giving NoSQL users more flexibility on structuring databases. In this section, learn more about NoSQL trends and developments, such as how NoSQL technologies work in cloud environments and how they compare with and relate to SQL-based relational databases.


NoSQL databases disrupt relational software monopoly

NoSQL software has dented the dominance of relational databases, but it isn't likely to fully break the hold that SQL technology has on users. Continue Reading


NoSQL databases scale upward for cloud computing

Read about how NoSQL databases are a natural fit for running Web applications and can take off in cloud computing environments. Continue Reading


Mix of NoSQL databases take on RDBMSs, application by application

Prospective users need to be aware of the wide variety of NoSQL products and the specific cases in which they're suited for replacing relational databases. Continue Reading


NoSQL databases: What are they all about?

The buzz around NoSQL databases focuses primarily on the fact that they aren't based on SQL, but there's more to the story. Continue Reading


Eyeballing benchmarks for SQL analytics and NoSQL developments

TechTarget editors discuss news about SQL analytics benchmarks and the 'SQL-ization' of non-SQL databases in this Talking Data podcast. Continue Reading


Is Oracle's push into NoSQL technology working?

Oracle is trying hard to make its NoSQL database a relevant competitor in the world of non-relational databases. But winning over NoSQL users might not be easy. Continue Reading

2Examples and advice-

NoSQL user stories and deployment best practices

Various types of businesses have deployed NoSQL database technologies and shared their stories about the deployments -- including projects that involve the use of SQL and NewSQL technologies as additions or alternatives to NoSQL software. In this section, learn more about what works and what doesn't and get tips on which options are most suitable for your data processing, business intelligence and analytics needs.


MongoDB database combined with SQL to spot social media trends

SQL-enabled Data Warehouse as a Service tools are helping marketing analytics firm SumAll to analyze social media data stored in a MongoDB NoSQL database. Continue Reading


Data provider taps NoSQL in-memory database to speed up processing

As part of a news roundup, read about how data services provider eXelate is using a NoSQL database running in memory to help enable near-real-time marketing decisions by its clients. Continue Reading


Companies seek to gain competitive advantages with NoSQL databases

This article examines case studies related to NoSQL database deployments at several companies based in Europe, including travel reservation system operator Amadeus. Continue Reading


Top priority: Solving problems with NoSQL systems

NoSQL technology might be alluring, but the basis of any buying decision must start with the business problem that needs to be addressed. Continue Reading


Going from NoSQL to NewSQL: One company's experience

Learn why logistics exchange operator DropShip Commerce decided to switch from NoSQL to NewSQL software that combines SQL and NoSQL traits to run its B2B platform. Continue Reading


Don't get dazzled by NoSQL, other new database technologies

NoSQL platforms and other alternatives to relational databases promise fast performance. But if they don't fit an organization's business needs, they aren't a good investment. Continue Reading


Tips on securing NoSQL applications, getting the most from big data

Abate big data security concerns with the best-practices advice for ensuring secure NoSQL applications offered in this article. Continue Reading


What's best for different types of data: SQL, NoSQL or a mix?

Explore the capabilities offered by SQL and NoSQL technologies to determine how to best address different forms of data flowing into organizations. Continue Reading


Expert insight on NoSQL software, relational databases and big data

A growing number of companies are using NoSQL database technology in their big data environments, but relational databases and other types of data management platforms may be required as well. Learn more about using NoSQL databases and building a big data architecture in these video interviews.


Relational and NoSQL database debate not always an either-or choice

Consultant William McKnight shares insights about NoSQL and relational databases and explains why there's room for both in IT architectures.


User: Big data demands put NoSQL technology in play for Oracle shops

Oracle database user John Kanagaraj says there are potential advantages to using NoSQL systems to support big data applications -- but some downsides, too.


Big data projects get support from combination of data platforms

Consultant John Myers discusses key trends in big data environments, including the use of multiple technologies and adoption rates for Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases.


Spotlight on NoSQL database technology with MongoDB CEO

Get advice on using NoSQL database technology to support big data initiatives from MongoDB CEO Max Schireson.


Terms related to NoSQL database technology

Learn or review these definitions to enhance your understanding of NoSQL and relational database technology.


Assess your knowledge of NoSQL databases

Take this brief quiz to check your understanding of NoSQL technology.

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