How to Choose Which Database to Use

October 21, 2020

Some notes 

  1. What is SQL database?
  2. What is NoSQL database?
    1. NoSQL types of databases  (Document oriented, columnar, keyvalue and Graph)
  3. Relational Vs Document (NoSQL) key differences. 

Today, many people are selecting their database based on the popularity ratings or the latest industry buzz words. However, trending technology may or may not be the best decision for your database selection. In the 1970s, we were gifted with the power of the RDBMS, providing us what we have today in the forms of Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL. This was all made possible due to the research from Frank Codd, an IBM employee that later sparked the theories within the system R research paper. 

When considering your database choice, it’s important to understand a few basic elements that will support your business requirements.





Data Structures

Type of data going in

NoSQL, Blobs, Clobs, Relational, IOT, Maps

PostgreSQL, EDB Postgres, Oracle, Cassandra, Mongodb, Redis, MySQL, SQL Server

Data Size

Type of data going out

CSV, Html, Documents

DynamoDB, CouchDB, Cloudant, Mongodb, CosmosDB, MarkLogic

Data Usage

Workload type

OLTP, DSS, Data Warehouse

EDB Postgres, Oracle, Teradata, MarkLogic, Cloudera

Data Retention

History, Requirements

Storage, Backups, Cloud


Data Security

Compliance, Regulations

Auditing, Access Control, Redaction, Encryption

PostgreSQL, EDB Postgres, Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server


Selecting a database can be compared to your next automobile purchase. If you have a family of eight, you probably would not purchase a car with only two seats. A wise option may be an SUV with the flexibility of reclining seats and rear storage. There may be some use cases where you need a one- dimensional specialty database for your application.  Yet, if you are a forward thinker and wish to make the selection that will take you into the future as your business evolves, you may seek a flexible option.

One of the gifts from the original RDBMS history presented us with perhaps one of the most flexible database selections you can make. The PostgreSQL database gives you the flexible options to combine NoSQL workloads with the relational query power by offering JSON data types. Auditing of data along with column level encryption, with TDE on the horizon. Connection of data points with other systems, by bridging the gap with MySQL, Hadoop, Cassandra and many others through the foreign data wrapper concept.

It offers deployment flexibility by allowing you to run on premises or be cloud agnostic. You can virtually choose to be in a private or public cloud, such as AWS, Google, or Azure and have the ability to control your storage size and data retention levels keeping control of when and how you store your data.


Click here to learn more about how to make the right database choice for your business and explore PostgreSQL.


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