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Table of contents
Relational databases
Non-Relational Databases
Difference Between Relational and Non-Relational Databases
Frequently Asked Questions
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Relational and non-relational Database

Author Kabir Singh
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It's not pretty easy to choose the appropriate Database to store our data. Sometimes the choice that we make may or may not come in handy.

When making a project too this same discussion comes up: which database should be chosen to fulfill the data requirements of the project and again we fall in the same question which database should we choose?

In this article, we will be describing the critical differences between relational and non-relational databases. Also, we will discuss the pros and cons of the same.

Relational databases

A relational database can be defined as a collection of items that can have various predefined relationships amongst them. The items in a relational database are always organized in specific tables, and the columns and rows of these tables represent different things. The columns represent item attributes, and the rows here represent a single data item.

When we wish to identify each element in a table that is too unique, we have to define a primary key to every table.

Do you know the most famous interface that is readily used to communicate with relational databases?

SQL- Structured Query Language is the answer!

Let’s now have a look at some examples of the SQL database engines:

  • MySQL 
  • Postgres
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • SQLite

Let’s now take you through the pros and cons of Relational Databases.


  1. They are considered to be perfect for structured data.
  2. It uses an existing and famous query language (SQL)
  3. It is considered fabulous for complex queries
  4. These types of databases are extremely easy for navigating data
  5. The transactions here are extremely secure
  6. The reliability of these databases is pretty high.


  1. These databases have an upfront schema definition
  2. They do not adapt to the changing requirements.
  3. If we do not use expensive hardware, then the data processing can be expected to be slow.
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Non-Relational Databases

A non-relational database can be considered a collection of unstructured, semi-structured, or structured items, and all these are usually represented in the form of a key value.

Every item in this Database can represent anything out of the table, document, or various other things.

Various items that belong to the same or different collections are never related to each other. However, using a reference two items can develop a relationship altogether.

Examples of Non-Relational Database Engines:

  • Redis
  • MongoDB
  • Apache Cassandra
  • Couchbase
  • Apache HBase

Let’s now have a look at the pros and cons of Non-Relational Database


  1. Non-Relational Databases have a flexible data model
  2. They adapt to the changing requirements very quickly
  3. They store a huge amount of data using a very minimal structure
  4. They have an extremely high performance


  1. These have a high low reliability
  2. The language is Manual Query Language
  3. It's very tough to verify data consistency and integrity

Must Recommended Topic, Schema in DBMS

Difference Between Relational and Non-Relational Databases

Relational Databases Non-Relational Databases
These are non-distributed databases These are distributed databases
They have predefined schema They consist of dynamic schema
They are suggested the most for complex queries  These are not preferred for complex queries
These can be scaled vertically These can be scaled horizontally
These generally follow the ACID property These generally follow the CAP

You can also know about different types of DBMS in detail.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the four types of DBMS?
    The four types of DBMS are Relational, Hierarchical, Network, and Object-oriented DBMS.
  2. What is an example of DBMS?
    MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, dBase, MariaDB, Microsoft Access are a few DBMS out there.
  3. What are the career prospects available after learning DBMS?
    Databases find their way in almost every career path right now, starting from a Financial Analyst to a Machine Learning Engineer. Some direct job roles in DBMS are Database Engineer, Database Administrator, Information Security Analyst, Market Research Analyst.
  4. What are the Databases that are currently being used in the industry?
    There are many Databases that are currently in use. A few of them are Relational databases, Operational databases, NoSQL databases, Cloud databases, Object-oriented databases, Graph databases.

Key Takeaways

As we have gone through the entire concept of relational databases as well as non-relational databases. It has become easy for us to choose our specific Database. 

Liked this blog and want to read more database related articles? Read here

Also Read - Cardinality In DBMS

Also you can have a look at the guided path provided by coding ninjas as well! Here

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