NoSQL databases: how they work and when they make sense

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Online shops with millions of customers and products, social networks with huge numbers of members and complex network of relationships in which countless messages are exchanged, plus scientific projects in which measurement data is generated over measurement data … – The requirements for databases are enormous: They should be mountains of information Store them securely and, on request, make appropriate data available in a meaningful way in a matter of seconds. The stored information is often too unstructured to force it into predetermined schemes, and the interweaving between them is often incredibly complex.

Requirements that SQL databases fail to deal with – but which NoSQL databases can easily cope with: They are flexible, fast, scalable and can be used in a distributed manner. But … how do they actually do it? How do they store data, how do they access them and what fields of application are they suitable for? What are their advantages and disadvantages? To answer that, we’ll take a closer look at key-value, document-oriented, wide-column, and graph databases in this article.

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