MongoDB vs RDBMS? What’s The Difference Between Them?

In this article, we will read about MongoDB vs RDBMS – What’s The Difference? In the previous articles, you have read that MongoDB is a NoSQL database. Generally, SQL databases are mainly used for accessing relational databases. RDBMS was always the first choice for all type of applications. But soon the scalability became the major issue as data started growing exponentially. To avoid that, NoSQL was brought in the market. MongoDB is such an approach to utilize the NoSQL database efficiently. The major difference between MongoDB and RDBMS(SQL Databases) is the way they handle data. In RDBMS, data is stored in the form of the traditional two-dimensional row-column structure whereas in MongoDB rich data document model is followed. Here, you can store any type of data. Let’s move on to the article now.

MongoDB vs RDBMS - What is Difference between them

MongoDB vs RDBMS

Following are some of the key points in MongoDB vs RDBMS which clearly show differences between MongoDB and RDBMS(SQL Databases):

RDBMS (SQL Database) MongoDB (NoSQL Database)
Relational database Non-relational and document-oriented database
Need to design your tables, data structure, relations first, then only you can start coding. You can start coding without worrying about tables. You can modify your objects at a lesser cost of development.
Supports SQL query language Supports JSON query language also
Does not provide JavaScript client for querying Provides JavaScript client for querying
Table based A collection based and key-value pair
Row-based Document-based
Column based Field-based
Indexing Indexing
Primary Key Primary Key (Default key _id provided by MongoDB itself)
Group By Aggregation
Not that easy to set up. Comparatively easy to set up and get it running. It’s a Java client is also very simple.
Support foreign key No support for the foreign key. But if you need these type of constraint, you have to handle it in the code itself which is a bit complex.
Support for Joins Joins are supported now. You can do a left outer join by using the $lookup stage. The $lookup stage lets you specify which collection you want to join with the current collection, and which fields that should match.
Support for triggers Triggers are supported – Stitch Triggers/Change Streams
Provides very fine granularity of locking Provides only one level of locking (i.e. document (row) level). In the previous version of MongoDB(2), it supported collection (table) level locking.
Contains schema which is predefined Contains dynamic schema
Not suitable for hierarchical data storage Best suitable for hierarchical data storage
Vertically scalable – increasing RAM Horizontally scalable – add more servers (i.e Sharding)
SQL injection vulnerability Unaffected by SQL injection
Emphasizes on ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability) Emphasizes on CAP theorem (Consistency, Availability, and Partition tolerance)
Slower as compared to NoSQL databases MongoDB is almost 100 times faster than traditional database systems.

That’s all for the key points in MongoDB vs RDBMS. Both MongoDB and RDBMS databases have their uses. Based on their requirements, any of them can be used.

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I hope you like this article on MongoDB vs RDBMS – What’s The Difference? In upcoming tutorials, you will be learning more about MongoDB. Don’t Forget To Share It with your friends/colleagues and subscribe to our email newsletter for more such updates. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. If you think of any key point that could be included in this MongoDB vs RDBMS difference, please suggest in the comment section below 🙂

Mohit Arora
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