NoSQL stand for Not Only SQL. A NoSQL database environment is, simply put, a non-relational and largely distributed database system that enables rapid, ad-hoc organization and analysis of extremely high-volume, disparate data types. NoSQL databases are sometimes referred to as cloud databases, non-relational databases, Big Data databases and a myriad of other terms and were developed in response to the sheer volume of data being generated, stored and analyzed by modern users (user-generated data) andtheir applications (machine-generated data).

In general, NoSQL databases have become the first alternative to relational databases, with scalability, availability, and fault tolerance being key deciding factors. They go well beyond the more widely understood legacy, relational databases (such as Oracle, SQL Server and DB2 databases) in satisfying the needs of today’s modern business applications. A very flexible and schema-less data model, horizontal scalability, distributed architectures, and the use of languages and interfaces that are “not only” SQL typically characterize this technology.

From a business standpoint, considering a NoSQL or ‘Big Data’ environment has been shown to provide a clear competitive advantage in numerous industries. In the ‘age of data’, this is compelling information as a great saying about the importance of data is summed up.