MongoDB vs PostgreSQL vs Redis: The Best Database for Cloud-Based Applications

There’s never been a better time to be involved in app development. The rapid advancement of new technologies for both front and backend creations make it possible to build better applications faster. Today’s environment now requires developers to be well-versed on both client and server-side development. The walls separating developers into different specialties crumble more every day.

Relational databases were the answer when it came to storing support data for applications. The past five years have seen an explosion in the use of non-relational databases. They’ve gained popularity due to the ease in which they can be scaled to meet the growing needs of individual developers or companies looking to expand their current capabilities.

MongoDB and Redis are two of the most popular non-relational databases on the market. They’ve grown along with the need for databases suited to supporting cloud based applications. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to web application needs. PostgreSQL, a relational database, also continues to grow in usage due to its support for many NoSQL features.

This article examines the pros and cons of each database in hopes of providing clarity to users unsure which product will work best for them. All databases covered in this article support cloud based app(s). They also work for developers who decide to create a mobile app or any other type of web-based software.

Examining MongoDB

MongoDB stores information in BSON (Binary JavaScript Object Notation) or JSON documents, meaning it can support any JS data. There’s no requirement for any structure or another schema that you’d typically find in a relational database. That allows users to create varying column formats from document to document.

It may help to think of documents as a form of a record used in RDBMS databases. Data gets stored in collections standing in for tables. MongoDB also has its own consistent and expressive query language. It’s adaptable to Solaris, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Benefits of MongoDB

  • Provides automatic scaling
  • Can be distributed across different platforms
  • Designed to be used in cloud hosting services like AWS, SoftLayer, RedHat, and Microsoft.

Drawbacks of MongoDB

  • Can add complexity to certain transactions
  • Doesn’t support stored procedures or functions for binding logic
  • Challenging to manage at scale

Best Uses for MongoDB

  • Customer analytics
  • Product catalogs
  • Real-time data integration
  • Mobility and scaling

Read more about best use cases for MongoDB
See our MongoDB as a service features and pricing

Examining PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an open-source database which uses traditional RDBMS structures like tables, triggers, stored procedures, and views. That makes it a good choice for those used to working with those types of databases. PostgreSQL distinguishes itself from other RDBMS systems by supporting both relational and object-oriented functionality.

It supports both ANSI SQL and SQL/MED standards and can handle NoSQL features for any applications storing information in key-value based or document formats. Developers can also build expression index based on the result coming from a function or expression versus the value of a column.

Benefits of PostgreSQL

  • Thriving support community
  • Provides full-text search capabilities
  • Supports a variety of replication methods

Drawbacks of PostgreSQL

  • Slower than most NoSQL databases
  • Understanding the configuration can be a steep learning curve
  • Not a lot of standardized support documentation

Best Uses for Postgres

  • Sites with lots of transactions
  • Organizations wanting the flexibility of using JSON data
  • Any application requiring dynamic data retrieval

Examining Redis

Redis is an open-source NoSQL in-memory data structure store. It uses key-value pairs for storage instead of documents. It’s flexible enough to be used as a cache or message broker as well. Developers can use data structures like lists, sets, and hashes.

Users can extend modules in Redis for other uses like a search engine or JSON store. It provides data replication capabilities and is robust enough to survive failures of any supporting nodes. Since Redis supports transactions, it can execute commands in a queued manner instead of going one at a time.

Benefits of Redis

  • Provides users with built-in caching support
  • One of the fastest databases around
  • Can handle up to 1GB of data within a single entry

Drawbacks of Redis

  • Requires all your data to fit into memory
  • No query language support
  • Requires several Redis instances for true scalability

Best Uses for Redis

  • Doing cloud-based application testing
  • Increasing speed in existing applications
  • Supporting other primary databases

Read more about the best uses for Redis
See our Redis hosting service features and pricing

Choose the Right Database for App Development

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