SQL vs. MongoDB

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In the present time, selection between SQL and MongoDB for projects is a common topic among the developers. The main reason is that MongoDB have been introducing some interesting features that have got the attention of many which had made MongoDB popular in no time.

Today the main objective will be to brief both SQL and MongoDB along with a discussion regarding their advantages and drawbacks which will make it more easier to select one among them to implement in our projects according our requirements.

SQL stands for structured query language. It is a database computer language that is designed to retrieve and manage data in a relational database. RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. It is the basis of SQL. MS SQL, My SQL and Oracle SQL are examples for some modern database systems. SQL is built around relational algebra. Data Definition Language(DDL) is used for inserting data and Data Manipulation Language(DML) is used to manipulate the existing data. The database sticks to the ACID(Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties when executing a transaction. Let us now give concern towards the advantages and the drawbacks in the use of SQL.


  • Large amount of records can be retrieved efficiently at a high speed.
  • No complex or many lines of code is required to manage the database system.
  • Can be used in servers, laptops, personal computers and mobiles.
  • Ability to create views using a single table or a couple of tables
  • Locking protocols restrict the same data item being manipulated at the same time by many users. This will maintain consistent data in the database.
  • SQL uses an established standard that is being used by ANSI (American National Standard Institutes) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization).


  • Difficult to scale when the database grows larger.
  • Partitioning the database into smaller parts.
  • Some SQL versions have high operating cost.
  • Programmers using SQL have only partial control over the database.
  • It may be difficult for some users to access as SQL has a complex interface

MongoDB is a leading NoSQL Database. It is an open source document database written in C++. Basically NoSQL database were created to overcome the issues that the traditional relational database technology has. In MongoDB data is organized as JSON documents and BSON(Binary Serialized JSON) format is used for document storage. Data manipulation can be done through object oriented APIs. MongoDB is a database which was mainly designed for big data and query. MongoDB gains its performance because of its key value based design. Now let us focus on the advantages that we get by using a NoSQL database like MongoDB and the disadvantages we experience.


  • Scalability increases performance
  • It has a flexible schema which makes agile development possible
  • Geographically distributed scale out architecture
  • Ability to store large volumes of structured, semi structured or unstructured data
  • Flexibility
  • Big data processing and real data analysis
  • Optional strict consistent level which ensure the insertion is completely successful in the safe mode.


  • Transactions are not supported
  • No single join operation. But it could be achieved by using multiple queries

With all that we had come to the end of this discussion regarding SQL and MongoDB. We have identified each of them with their differences, positives and negatives. It is totally up to us to decide on what database technology we must develop the software according to the requirements we have and the features each technology offers. We cannot name any technology and say that it is superior. Everything is based on the project requirements we are working with. One technology might give a negative impact to the project while another technology may highly connect with the project. With the use of knowledge on technologies, we must be able to select the most suitable technology, to gain the maximum benefit that we could receive by implementing it within the software.

Cheers!! Have a pleasant day!! 

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