The world of data storage and management is rapidly changing, which is why it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Developers looking for the right database may be overwhelmed by how many different models have emerged in the past several years. While many are already familiar with SQL (relational) and NoSQL (non-relational) databases, they may not know that each database has its own types. Today, we will focus on one of these types: a key-value database.
What is a Key-Value Database?
A key-value database is a type of non-relational database. It stores and retrieves data based on a unique key, which is comprised of an identifier and a value. This means that the key-value database will not store data as a table, but rather as single values that are linked to their respective keys.
Advantages of Key-Value Databases
The key-value database can be used in many ways because it can store any type of data and provide fast retrieval with no need for indexing or schema management. Furthermore, this type of database is highly scalable and flexible because it can handle large amounts of data without affecting performance or storage costs. The biggest advantage of using this type of database is its simplicity.
Features of a Key-Value Database
Key-value databases can be optimized and extended in various ways, hence they can have numerous features. But below are their common ones:
1. Retrieving a value
Retrieving a value is as simple as looking up the key. This is done via a lookup function, which can be fast since it requires less processing.
2. Inserting and updating values
This is possible by adding/updating the value at the end of the key, or by adding/updating a new key if it already exists. This makes inserting and updating very fast and efficient. However, this may result in duplicating data if the keys are not unique.
3. Deleting values:
Since data is stored in a single-value format, deleting can be done by simply removing the key from the database or by changing its value to “null” (which signifies that no value exists). Both methods are simple to perform and fast because there is no need to keep track of existing values when deleting them. Also, there’s no need for reorganizing indexes or tables when deleting records because there aren’t any.
When to use a key-value database?
There are several NoSQL databases available for developers, but one key value approach is the optimal solution when you’re looking for: • Real-time random data access, meaning the app can handle small continuous reads and writes • Cache data to build a fast, in-memory database • Basic information (like customer data) that only requires simple key-based queries • Personalization mechanics like product recommendations in e-commerce
Key-value databases are a powerful and flexible type of database that can be used in many different ways. They are easy to understand, fast, and efficient. They are also popular for their simplicity, speed, and ease of use. It is why they are typically built-in solutions that utilize cache and e-commerce apps that need to store customer data and provide personalized recommendations. Also read: ‘What is a Static Web Page & How to Create It?’
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