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NoSQL...Hang on a sec

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By Chandrashekhar Wagh August 06, 2012

Since there is too much information available online, one has to carefully decide whether to go for NoSQL or not. And if you decide to use NoSQL, then which database or datastore should be the right choice for you.

Now to answer the first question of NoSQL or not, you should analyze your requirement in detail. Amongst the numerous points that have to be considered, I will mention a few important ones here:

  1. Size of your Data: Evaluate how your data is! Is storing your data in relational database like MySQL or Oracle an option? How many tables do you need to create? How many columns per table will you have on an average and most importantly how many rows each table will have?
  2. Flexibility: In a relational database, you need to create the schema first. Do you need some flexibility over there? Like in one of my projects I worked on a logging module and the structure of the logs differed. Therefore I wanted to have flexible schema for it.
  1. Data Retrieval or Faster Write Access: While some applications require fast data retrieval, some require fast write access and a few require both. Think about Google Search where fast data retrieval is very important whereas for an application like Twitter,  lot of tweets require  lots of write operation.
  1. Concurrent Read & Write Access: It’s not just the speed of the application that matters but also the concurrent read and write access that should be taken into consideration. Think about the number of Facebook users writing simultaneously on various sections of the website.
  1. Are you creating application for Analytics?
  1. Social Network Integration: Does your application have social-network features? Facebook is a big inspiration to choose NoSQL if your application has similar features. Facebook Engineering Notes and Facebook Engineering Papers are good sources of information about the latest technologies used at Facebook.
I hope these pointers help you take an effective technology decision for your product. I will give more pointers on this topic during this NoSQL series. Look here for the next post on databases.
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