NoSQL is a type of database that stores and retrieves data modeled in a format other than a data table (typical in relational databases). NoSQL has become popular in recent years with the rise of big data and web applications that create massive volumes of new, rapidly changing data in a multitude of formats. When compared to relational databases, NoSQL databases are more scalable and provide superior performance, and their data model addresses several issues that the relational model is not designed to address.
Document databases, such as MongoDB, pair each key with a complex data structure known as a document. Documents can contain many different key-value pairs, or key-array pairs, or even nested documents.
Graph stores are used to store information about networks of data, such as social connections. Graph stores include Neo4J and Giraph.
Key-value stores are the simplest NoSQL databases. Every single item in the database is stored as an attribute name (or key), together with its value. Examples of key-value stores are Riak and Berkeley DB. Some key-value stores—such as Redis—allow each value to have a type which adds functionality.
Wide-column stores such as Cassandra and HBase are optimized for queries over large datasets, and store columns of data together, instead of rows.
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