Non-Relational Databases Overview
What are Non-Relational Databases?
Non-relational databases do not use the rows/columns table format of relational databases. They have different and varying frameworks of storing and modeling data. By relaxing certain rules these databases provide increased scalability and availability. The term “non-relational database” is sometimes used synonymously with NoSQL databases. Document-oriented databases, key-value databases, object databases and graph databases are non-relational databases.
Non-relational databases grew in popularity due to their ability to meet the aggressive scaling needs of web applications appearing on popular websites (e.g. social media). They also are suited to support Big Data applications with their high throughput of unstructured data. Non-relational databases can also store data in memory for persistence, to more easily read this fast-moving data. Finally, popular non-relational databases are open source and present little or no upfront cost, and no licensing fees.
Non-Relational Database Features & Capabilities
Notable capabilities and advantages of non-relational database are:
Can be purpose-built to specific data models
“Tableless” and opaque data storage
Can manage unstructured or multi-structured data
No need for a predefined schema
Better manage abstract data
Support graph data modeling
Support document-oriented data store
Less strict consistency (e.g. eventual consistency) models
Better operational performance
Require fewer computing resources
More horizontal and vertical scalability
Many non-relational databases are open source and available free without a license. Non-relational databases also provide more flexible data center budgeting. Adding or removing servers need not create downtime. Scalability and availability are their greatest advantages. Non-relational databases can also be deployed across cheaper, commodified servers relative to their RDBMS counterparts.
Non-Relational Databases Products
Database software for individuals or teams. Allows users to create forms, reports and labels. Share on a network or over the web.
Neo4j is an open source embeddable graph database developed by Neo Technologies based in San Mateo, California with an office in Sweden.
InterSystems Cache is a database management system (DBMS) and non-relational database.
FoxPro is a programming language and DBMS formerly supported by Microsoft, now at its End of Life.
Titan is an open-source distributed graph database developed by Aurelius. Aurelius is now part of Datastax (since February 2015).
Sonic XML Server is a database management system (DBMS) offered by Progress Software.
Sparksee is a graph database from Sparsity Technologies headquartered in Barcelona.
Oracle Berkeley DB is an embedded or non-relational database management option originally developed by Sleepycat Software.
db4o (database for objects) is an embeddable open source object database supported by Actian. However, Actian no longer promotes db4o's commercial version to new customers.
Clipper was a database building programming language, acquired by CA Technologies and branded CA-Clipper; product support for existing customers is offered by GrafX Software.
Tamino is an information management platform based on native XML and supported by Software AG.
ObjectStore,once supported by Progress Software, now supported by Ignite Technologies, is an object-oriented database development platform.
Versant FastObjects, now supported by Actian, is a transactional object client-server database.
Matisse is a non-relational database, from small company Matisse Software.
CA Datacom is a database repository and DBMS offering from CA Technologies.
Versant ODBMS, now from Actian since the Versant acquisition, is a database management system.
Objectivity/DB is the flagship object oriented database technology from Objectivity Inc in San Jose, California.
Stardog from Complexible in Washington, DC is a graph database.
InfiniteGraph is a graph database from Objectivity Inc in San Jose, California.
Adabas is a database management system (DBMS) platform from Software AG.