Relational vs Non-Relational Database

Relational and non-relational are two major types of databases use to store their crucial data in managed format. Both have some similarities, but still, both databases are entirely different from each other. One of the significant differences between relational and non-relational databases is that the relational database organizes and stores the data in tabular format. On the other hand, the non-relational databases store the data of the company in the key-value format.

Both types of databases have some advantages and disadvantages for the users. Here in this article, we will compare relational and non-relational databases. So you can understand which one can be the better choice for the organizations. Thus, if you desire to understand the significant difference between relational and non-relational databases, review this completely.

Short Brief About Relational Databases

A relational database is a model that describes the logical structure and the design to store the data. Along with this, it also describes how the data will be maintained and accessed by the user. It stores the data in the tabular performance and is based on the relational models. In the table, the user can store the data with the help of rows and columns and represent entities and attributes, respectively. Moreover, the relationship between field type and the table is generally referred to as schema that the user must define adequately. Nowadays, there are hundreds of relational databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, and Microsoft Azure SQL.

Short Brief About Non-Relational Databases

Non-relational databases are the other type of databases that uses documents other than tables. These databases are designed to store the unstructured data in a particular document. In this document, the organizations can store their customers’ information such as name, order, favorite, address, contact details, and many more. It also contains a semi-structured folder with many files but does not use any table format.

The benefit of using non-relational databases is that these databases can store the data and process those without modifying the architecture. And because of this reason, maintaining and accessing these databases are much cheaper than relational databases. There are also many non-relational databases such as Apache HBase, Redis, Titan, MongoDB, Cassandra, and OrientDB.

Relational vs Non-Relational Database

Relational vs Non-Relational Database

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Before we move to the comparison table to cover the difference between relational vs non-relational databases. We should also learn about some significant and essential differences between the two.

  • In general, relational databases are pronounced as SQL. However, non-relational databases are called NoSQL or do not use any SQL framework.
  • The relational databases are complex to distribute in several categories. But the non-relational databases can be distributed based on key-value, graphs, columns, and the critical value.
  • If the organizations need to conduct complex data querying, in that case, relational databases can be ideal. In contrast, non-relational databases are helpful if the company needs to manage the extensive data of their customers.
  • Non-relational databases are pretty accessible, and even the mid-level company can afford such databases. In contrast, relational databases are costly and can be suitable for large companies. As they require to hire expert professionals to handle and manage the vast database in an effective manner.
  • Relational databases use tables with rows and columns. However, non-relational databases use the document format to store and maintain the users’ data.
Basis Relational Databases Non Relational Databases
SQL Relational databases are the database that stores the data in a structured way. Hence, relational databases or RDBMS are also termed SQL.


The non-relational databases are based on documents. They do not define any relationship and maintain data in the document form. Hence these databases are also called NoSQL.
Query Language In this database, the structured query language or SQL is used. But in the non-relational databases, the no declarative query language comes into use. In short, these databases use the NoSQL or no structured query language.


Suitability These are the databases that are not ideal for hierarchical data storage. Thus, if the company needs to store its data hierarchically, then it should prevent relational databases. These databases are suitable for the hierarchical storage of the company’s data because here, these databases support the key-value method. And using this feature, the company can easily hierarchically store its data.


Schema The RDBMS comes with the predefined schema feature.


But the Non-RDBMS utilize the dynamic schema to store the unstructured data.



Ideal Usage If the company needs to validate its customer’s data in an efficient manner. Then relational databases can be the ideal choice.


These databases are great if the company needs a fast data experience rather than correct customer data.



Scalability These databases are scalable vertically, or by adding more rows, the database can be expanded.


Whereas these are the type of databases that uses the document and hence it can be scalable horizontally.


Support This database uses the ACID, the short form of atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. These properties are inbuilt in the relational databases.


The non-relational databases use the BASE to store the ideal data, representing the available, soft state, and eventually consistency framework.


Features The user gets several great features like security, cross-platform integration, and several free features in relational databases.


This database provides a high-performance facility, easy-to-use feature, along with flexibility in its tools.


Examples MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server are a few examples of RDBMS.


Some examples of Non-relational databases are MongoDB, HBase, and Cassandra.


So, both types of databases have several advantages and disadvantages. Based on these, the company decides what database they should opt for. However, if the company’s budget is low and needs fast data experience, non-relational databases are the ideal choice.

Although, relational databases are great if the company has a sufficient budget and requires validating their customer’s data. Along with this, here, you learned the difference between relational and non-relational databases. I hope your doubt is solved with this fantastic article covering the detailed comparison between SQL and NoSQL databases.

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