Comprehensive NoSQL Tutorial for Beginners

by | Oct 28, 2019 | Data Science

10 Min Read. |

A wide range of various database technologies is encompassed by NoSQL. These technologies were developed due to the ever-changing demands that were put forth while building innovative modern applications. This is the reason many data science students focus on a proper NoSQL tutorial to get a complete understanding of the topic.

Developers are constantly working on several applications that offer rapidly changing and new data types in massive volumes. These data types include semi-structured, structured, polymorphic and unstructured data.

According to the stats, NoSQL databases are in demand close to 39.52%.  

Earlier, the development cycle used to be anywhere from 12 to 18 months. However, in the present times, this has changed drastically. Now, you can see small teams who work with agility and carry out quick iterations and code pushing within a few days.

Applications that were earlier used for a limited audience are now developed as services that need to be easily accessible to different users globally who are using different devices.

Organizations are now employing the use of cloud computing, open software technologies, and commodity servers in order to scale-out architectures instead of large storage infrastructure and monolithic servers.

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This NoSQL tutorial for beginners will help you gain a better insight into the basic concepts revolving around this database system.

NoSQL Tutorial

NoSQL Tutorial Source – Qubole

What is NoSQL?

Before we jump to the concepts which form the base of the NoSQL database tutorial, let us see what this term actually means.

NoSQL is a modernized approach to designing databases that are capable enough to accommodate different types of data models like document, key-value, graph, and columnar formats.

NoSQL stands for “Not Only SQL” and acts as the perfect traditional relational database alternative, in which all the data is organized in tables and the data schema design is carefully carried out prior to the building of the database.

In this NoSQL tutorial for beginners, you will learn that NoSQL databases prove to be pretty useful when distributed data in large sets are worked on.

Here is an introductory video of what is NoSQL?

Why NoSQL?

What is NoSQL Database?

What is NoSQL Database? Source – Educba

With this NoSQL tutorial, you will also learn about why NoSQL is so important. This is because the data sizes are growing rapidly which is causing a rise in the need for sophisticated model usage.

Since the data size’s growth is rapid, there are several new data types being introduced and with this increase in the types of data, the computing power also needs to be increased and improved.

This is exactly why NoSQL databases should be preferred. They are speedier and it does not require the tables to be joined. Every data in a NoSQL database is stored in the form of JSON.

In the case of relational databases, a major limitation is that only a single attribute needs to be associated with one data.

There are several problems that cannot be successfully solved with the help of relational databases. A major limitation in the case of a relational database is that one item can contain just one attribute. But, in the case of NoSQL, the data can be stored in a nested fashion.

Another important thing to note while learning the basics in the NoSQL tutorial for beginners is that NoSQL is pretty easy and simple to use. For instance, you do not have to go through the turmoil of rows and columns mismatching. This way, you would be required to write only a few codes, which would mean fewer errors.

Certain problems that cannot be solved by SQL can be solved with the help of NoSQL. For instance, prior to feeding data for data modeling in SQL, a programmer or developer would have to think about the role of the tables, the significance of the columns and how each everything can be linked with a common element which would then be used in the form of a primary key.

Since there are many different types of data sources, this process can be pretty time-consuming. Also, once the data in the database has been inserted, a new column addition becomes very difficult.

But, in the case of NoSQL databases, this burden is brought down to a great extent as it makes data modeling simple and straightforward. This way the data model’s appearance can be altered and added to the database in minimum time.

This is why learning about what is NoSQL exactly through this NoSQL tutorial has a high significance.

NoSQL History

NoSQL History

NoSQL History Source – Slideshare

In order to understand the concepts of NoSQL, it is important to learn about what is NoSQL and how it emerged and became as significant as it is now. This NoSQL tutorial is aimed at educating the readers about this in detail.

Initially, the relational databases established the existence in the digital world. These are pretty useful is giving a comparison between relational and non-relational databases. It was introduced in 1970 by Edgar F Codd and was meant for arranging the data in different columns and rows.

This is done by assigning each of the rows with a specific key. All the relational databases make use of SQL and are noticeably very complex. They are traditional forms of databases that are much more rigid and controlled and have a restricted or limited capability for translating complex data like the unstructured data.

In 1990, mass popularity was gained by the internet and these relational database systems were unable to keep up with the demand of users for a specific way of the flow of the information. This evolution also leads to a larger variety of types of data which were again not satisfied by the relational database systems.

This is what led to the introduction of NoSQL which is a form of a non-relational database. With the help of NoSQL databases, the strange data could be quickly translated and the rigidity of SQL could be avoided by offering more flexibility as opposed to the organized storage provided by SQL.

An important point to note while reading this NoSQL tutorial is that Carlo Strozzi was the person who first referred to this type of non-relational database as NoSQL in the year 1998. He did this to name his open-source, lightweight relational database that did not make use of SQL.

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This name popped up again when Johan Oskarsson and Eric Evans described the non-relational database as NoSQL in 2009. This term, as mentioned in this NoSQL tutorial earlier means, Not only SQL, which lays emphasis on the fact that some of these non-relational database systems may support the query languages linked to SQL.

NoSQL was developed in order to keep up with the need for unstructured data processing quickly. A model based on a NoSQL database tutorial makes use of a distributed database system which means a system linked with multiple computers.

With several benefits like quick processing, an ad-hoc approach adopted for the organization of data and the ability to process different data types, NoSQL gained massive popularity and since then has been used for successful operations in a variety of domains.

Features of NoSQL

Features of NoSQL

Features of NoSQL Source – Educba

The NoSQL databases have now been around for several years. But, it was not until the early years of the 21st century that many organizations and companies started using it for handling their real-time and big data cloud and web applications.

The 5 features mentioned below form a very important part of the NoSQL tutorial.

1. Multi-Model

NoSQL databases are extremely flexible in case of handling the data. These databases can easily ingest semi-structured, unstructured, and structured data. Architects, programmers, and developers prefer to use NoSQL databases since they make it easier to handle a variety of agile requirements of application development.

Some of the popular data models are a document, graph, key-value, and wide-column. The basic idea behind using NoSQL is to support multiple varieties of data models which would allow you to use a single data in multiple types of data models without the need to create or manage a totally different database.

2. Flexible

The relational databases are designed in such a way that they can handle only the primarily structured data, whereas the NoSQL database tutorials indicate that the systems can handle multiple data types with ease.

3. Easily Scalable

Relational databases can sure scale but they cannot do it easily or even cheaply. There are certain NoSQL databases that feature peer-to-peer and masterless architecture with all the nodes being the same.

This makes easy scaling for adapting to the complexity and volume of data of the cloud applications. This scalability is also responsible for improving the performance and allowing the availability of continuous and high write/read speeds.

4. Zero Downtime

Another important feature which you must learn what is NoSQL tutorial is that NoSQL databases are attributed with zero downtime. The masterless architecture of this database makes this possible.

This architecture is what introduces the possibility of managing multiple data copies across the various nodes. This means that, even if a node fails or goes down, another node would have the data copy which can be easily and quickly accessed. This is very significant when one considers the downtime costs.

5. Distributed

NoSQL databases are designed for the distribution of data globally. This means that multiple locations, data centers, and cloud regions can be used by the NoSQL database for the read/write operations.

A key advantage of using NoSQL databases is that continuous availability can be maintained since the distribution of data is done with multiple data copies wherever needed.

How and Why Should you Learn NoSQL Tutorial?

Why Should you Learn NoSQL Tutorial?

Why Should you Learn NoSQL Tutorial? Source – Cloud Front

From all the benefits of NoSQL described in the above sections of this NoSQL tutorial, you can understand that it is indeed important to learn what is NoSQL since the world is moving in that direction.

There are plenty of NoSQL databases that are available. Each of these different NoSQL databases has a specific function and there are certain pros and cons linked to each of them. You can pick a particular NoSQL data to learn based on these differences.

Here are some of the popular NoSQL databases, learning about which can be hugely beneficial to you.

1. MongoDB

This NoSQL database tutorial is simple and proves that the database is object-oriented, scalable and dynamic. It is based on the document store model of NoSQL. Here, the data objects are stored in the form of separate documents in a collection which is unlike the traditional databases where the data is stored in columns and rows.

MongoDB makes use of schemas with documents which are JSON-like.

2. Redis

This is an in-memory open-source NoSQL database that implements an in-memory, distributed store of key-value with the optional durability. It also can be used in the form of a message broker and cache.

Hashes, strings, sets, lists, sorted sets of range queries, hyper logs, bitmaps and geospatial indexes containing radius queries, are some data structures supported by the Redis NoSQL database.

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3. Apache Cassandra

This is a distributed and open-source NoSQL database which is completely free. This database management system has been designed in such a way that it can handle large amounts of different data types across several commodity servers.

And, this is done by providing greater availability with no point for failure. This NoSQL database is the ideal choice when high availability with scalability is required without a compromise in the performance.

The linear scalability and fault tolerance which has been proven on cloud infrastructure and commodity hardware, make Apache Cassandra the ideal platform for managing and handling critical data types.

4. Apache HBase

Apache HBase is a non-relational, open-source and distributed type of data model and is generally written in Java. It was initially developed as an entity of  Apache Software Foundation’s project called Apache Hadoop.

It runs on top of the Hadoop Distributed File System and provides capabilities that are similar to that of Google’s Bigtable.

5. Couchbase

Couchbase was originally referred to as Membase and is a distributed and open-source multi-model database which is document-oriented and is optimized for interactive applications. You can learn this from the NoSQL tutorial for beginners’ official documentation and tutorials. There are also a few online free sessions that are offered to learn this NoSQL database.


There are plenty of online sources from where these different NoSQL database tutorial systems can be learned and mastered.

Even if you are not thinking about using a non-relational database like NoSQL for your current project, it is still important to learn NoSQL for future innovations and developments.

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This NoSQL tutorial is perfect for everyone who wishes to adopt a simpler technique by replacing the traditional database systems with non-relational database systems like NoSQL.

To build a strong grasp of how NoSQL works, enroll in the Data Science Course today.

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