Why a NoSQL database is a huge asset in application development

By September 10, 2020Articles

Modern web application development has evolved significantly over the years because organisations are processing more data than ever before. In fact, research indicates that the world is going to produce over 59 zettabytes of data in 2020. Given the growing volume and complex nature of an organisation’s dataset, they require applications that can process the velocity, volume and variety of large data produced. 

Complex datasets present a unique challenge for developers because we need to invest in technology that can match the volume of information organisations regularly produce. Without the right software, our clients can’t analyse their data efficiently and generate useful insights from it. To keep up with the immense volume of data, developers need to use the right technology, which is why a NoSQL database or non-relational database is a huge asset in application development.

What are the advantages of NoSQL databases?

A NoSQL database offers similar functional value to SQL databases but is more flexible. Unlike their counterparts, NoSQL databases can store both structured and unstructured data without much reworking or retooling required. 

Non-relational databases are quite different from their legacy systems because they offer several advantages that are not found in more conventional databases.

More suited to processing big data

One of the biggest advantages of a NoSQL database is its ability to tackle a massive volume of data. Conventional databases are not as well equipped to process the volume of information regularly. The difference in processing can be attributed to expanding server capacity. 

On traditional SQL databases, expanding server capacity is a costly endeavour. In addition to installing new servers, you also need to modify the application and partition data, which takes a long time to complete. However, on a NoSQL database, expanding server capacity can be done more efficiently compared to other databases.

It works around the clock

Modern web application requirements are such that there is little room for downtime or system disruption. A NoSQL database is a great asset because it provides the consistency businesses require from their modern web applications. This is because the NoSQL engine uses duplicate nodes to adjust and maintain consistency across data functions, providing the reliability organisations need from their applications.

Easier for developers to use

One important benefit of non-relational databases is its user-friendly nature. NoSQL databases are much more fluid and flexible to work with compared to other databases. The databases transform data into code, essentially putting the data structure in the developer’s hands. This means application developers have far more agency to finetune the database if they need to. 

Furthermore, a NoSQL database can support multiple data storage structures.  This means less work required to transform stored data, reducing the amount of coding required in development, making the process far more efficient than before. The flexibility of NoSQL databases means that data can be stored in different formats, ranging from simple objects to complex structures. This flexibility means less time spent adapting data to a particular storage format and more time on productive work. 

A more flexible storage format means less time spent on ETL (extract, transform and load), significantly reducing the time spent manipulating the data to make it work for certain formats. Given that most organisations generate both structured and unstructured data, flexibility in storage is a significant advantage for developers.

Easier to adapt the database to changes

Furthermore, a NoSQL database can adapt to change quickly. Due to the structured nature of conventional databases, it can take a long time to change indexes, rewrite systems and test them. However, non-relational databases are far more flexible than their traditional counterparts, so they don’t require as much time to adjust, making them easier to use.

The development of modern web applications

The key to developing flexible, responsive modern web applications lies in the technology used to collect and process data. As such, NoSQL databases offer a lot of value because it makes the development of complex applications more cost-efficient than before. In fact, certain databases like CosmosDB offer APIs to process the data stored in the database. Users can channel the benefits of a NoSQL database to improve elasticity, throughput and storage, generating significant cost savings in the long run. Investing in NoSQL databases can make the development process more efficient.