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NoSQL Data Solutions – How to Choose One

Posted @ 12:33 pm by Milena Pavlova | Category: Data | 0 Comments

One of the most important benefits of the modern Internet is that it serves dynamic data and we rely, for the most part, on a database to achieve that task. Relational databases were the predominant solution for the last few decades. There are many reasons why they may be still the preferred data store: relational model, predefined schema, powerful query language, transaction support with ACID capabilities, strong data consistency. But the web applications become more and more complex, requirements and features change and evolve, the accumulated data becomes difficult to manage and distribute. Google’s BigTable in 2006 and Amazon’s Dynamo key-value store in 2007 were the first solutions trying to address conventional database limitations. Nowadays we have over 100 different NoSQL data stores and their number is growing.

So, how do we choose one?

After reading Kristóf Kovács post I started to think more about it and how to put that information together. Here at SolutionSet we already tried a few alternative solutions, they all have their pros and cons. We understand that there is no universal solution that will fulfill all of our requirements. The most important thing to do is to define carefully the task and understand the trade-offs leaving the relational databases— one may not need strong consistency, or maybe the predefined schema impacts the ability to add new features, or alternation is a long and complicated process. Sometimes more than one data store is needed to build a scalable and highly available application.

I have chosen a small number of NoSQL data stores based on their popularity, development activity, and community support. I tried to create a simple set of criteria to help me choose or recommend the proper data solution for a specific problem. Here it is in a form of a simple table.

Happy coding!

noSQL Data Solutions


Author: Milena Pavlova is a Back End Developer, working with SolutionSet since 2005. She has worked on a number of client projects using the technologies featured in this article.

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