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What is the difference between a NoSQL database and a traditional database management system?

By Justin Stoltzfus | Last updated: July 6, 2020
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A NoSQL database is a database that doesn't use traditional relational database methods. NoSQL databases have different approaches to the storage of information, and often make it easier for complex or distributed systems to access database information.

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In traditional relational databases, data exists in set tables and is accessed by SQL or structured career language commands. By contrast, NoSQL databases are built in a number of different ways, for example, with key/value stores, document storage methods, graph methods, or object store methods. Some of these databases may handle structured query language as a means of retrieving data. Many of them are designed for performance, scalability, flexibility and complexity, but may lack a superior build for immediate data consistency. However, on the whole, the use of NoSQL is increasing, partly because of the use of these tools with big data and real-time Web systems.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus | Contributor, Reviewer

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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.

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