Tuesday, 16 February 2016

MongoDB vs MySQL – Which Database is Right for your Enterprise?

MySQL has been a common, open-source database in use by developers for more than a decade. It has become a standard to store data for web and mobile apps. But with changing times, businesses using internet have raised demands for multiple servers to share the load, ensure data scalability and high performance.

As data management becomes a growing challenge, established databases may not posses all the functionality to handle or process large amounts of data. This is where new databases like MongoDB come into the picture. Not only is it an excellent database, but also happens to be an important part of MEAN stack development. Before we look into a comparison between MySQL and MongoDB, let us first consider the important aspects of each of these databases.

What is MongoDB? 

MongoDB is an open-source document oriented database system developed by MongoDB Inc. It uses JSON (Java Script Object Notation) like documents to store the data which varies in structure. The related information is stored  together for fast query access using MongoDB query language. The dynamic schema in MongoDB allows you to create records without defining the data structure. With the data model, you can represent hierarchical relationships, store arrays, and other more complex structures with ease.
 What is MySQL? 

MySQL is an open-source, relational database management system (RDBMS) that uses  structured query language to develop and deploy application databases. It was acquired by Oracle in 2010 from Sun Microsystems. MySQL uses a tabular format to store the data that can be accessed using structured query language (SQL).

Developers or programmers have to pre-define the database schema depending on the requirements and create rules to relate the fields in the tables. It allows you to relate stored data  within different tables with the use of joins that reduce data duplication.

Each of these databases may have a set of similar sounding features, yet differences do exist in the way they deliver functionality to their users. Let us take a look at the aspects that set them apart from each other.
  • Data Storage & Management: MySQL stores data in a structured tabular form using rows and columns where you have to define rules to relate the fields in your tables. In contrast, MongoDB represents data as collection using JSON documents. Related documents can be linked or embedded as required.
  • Schema Flexibility: MySQL doesn't provide enough flexibility in structuring the data while following normalization standards. While in MongoDB, you can easily embed, link documents or fields instead of using joins and transactions. Basically you can optimize your schema depending on the way your app will use the data. Moreover, MongoDB also offers auto-sharding for MEAN stack application development.
  • Type of Querying Language Used: MySQL uses structured query language (SQL) for querying information to the database. You have to combine string in this language which is parsed by the data system and makes SQL injection attack possible. On the other hand, MongoDB uses object querying which means passing a document to explain what you are querying for.
  • Layout of Data Schema: You are required to pre-define the database to store data in tables, rows and columns before storing your application database in MySQL. With MongoDB, you don't need to define the data schema but add a number of documents within a collection without relating any fields (referred as embedding).
  • Execution of Transactions: MySQL is a good choice to develop apps that require complex, multi-row transactions. It has the ability to perform multiple operations within the same transaction and roll back the whole transaction again. MongoDB, instead of transactions, supports single operations that are atomic in nature.
From the above MongoDB vs MySQL comparison, it is not possible to conclude that either of these databases are a drop-in replacement for each other. While MySQL helps developers to build an app using the relational data models and SQL, MongoDB scales their modern business app building requirements. Pick the one that works best for your enterprise needs!


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