There’s been a whole bunch of conversation in the database world in recent years around what the best type of database is for modern applications. Over the past couple of years this has mainly centered around the SQL verses NoSQL wars.
On the one hand are the traditional SQL-based databases, which all follow a traditional row and column format. These are the databases that have existed since pretty much year dot and have proved themselves to be good all-around tools.
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With the advent of social media and the need for database approaches that worked well within the unstructured data landscape that these properties work within has led to the rise of the NoSQL databases. These databases don’t follow, or at least don’t only follow, the standard tabular approach towards data. Hence storage and retrieval of data doesn’t follow the rigid row and column, tabular approach.