SQL & NoSQL Database Study for Internet of Things

SQL & NoSQL Database Study for Internet of Things

Table of Contents


Internet of Things (IoT) is the new emerging technology. With the rapid developments in this technology, in near future, IoT applications are going to produce tremendous amount of data. Most of the IoT research work is inclined towards manufacturing low-cost and energy-efficient hardware, as well as the communication technologies that provide thing-to-thing connectivity. However, the solutions to manage and utilize the massive volume of data produced by these objects are yet to mature. Traditional database systems used Relational database management systems (RDBMS). RDBMS has till now supported all the user requirements along with simplicity, robustness, flexibility, scalability, performance. But the main limitation they are facing is their static schema which is making RDBMS not suitable for IoT applications. On the other hand, NoSQL databases emerging in market have claimed to perform better than SQL database. The NoSQL databases are non-relational, schema-free, no joins, easy replication support, horizontally scalable, etc. So, which database will be suitable for a particular IoT application is of interest. Hence, for an IoT application, comparison study is done for both SQL & NoSQL database technologies.


Internet of Things (IoT), Database, SQL, NoSQL, RDBMS


Internet of Things (IoT) is currently in the developing stage. IoT refers to anything around us which is connected to the internet and is able to communicate. Usually, sensors are attached to things like temperature sensors connected to oven, fridge or just to measure room temperature. IoT is a network of such things which may communicate with each other or with the user. IoT is having applications in various domains like smart city, industrial, medical services, etc. As the application area is wide, the type of data generated by these objects is heterogeneous. It is said that data generated by these IoT applications will be big data that can be further analyzed to make the optimum use of resources. Also, the use of IoT applications will increase the real-time data, which altogether makes the information storage and accessing more difficult and challenging. Several new technologies and database management systems (DBMS) are emerging to handle data growth and to improve system performance.

Even though SQL databases have been the most popular database systems so far, the question arises whether the traditional relational databases fit well with all the new systems and performance requirements. A new class of database referred to as NoSQL databases are emerging in the market. NoSQL databases store data very differently from the traditional relational database systems. They are meant for data of schema-free structure, can be easily distributed providing high scalability and availability. These properties are actually needed to realize the vision behind the Internet of Things data.


This paper compares two types of database systems namely SQL and NoSQL. SQL is a traditional relational database system which is being used for many years now and hence is more mature compared to NoSQL which is a non-relational database system. SQL has many advantages such as it is easy to use and setup, structured schema helps to avoid mistakes which may arise in case of flexible schema, strong consistency, gives secured storage. But, for IoT applications where data is going to be huge and is heterogeneous, it is not a suitable option. Whereas, No SQL is capable of storing any type of data, is capable of handling the big data, also supports horizontal scalability, runs well on cloud platforms. But this NoSQL technology is still maturing and lacks security standards. Both the systems have pros and cons which makes the decision of choosing one system over the other more complicated. Better performance can be achieved using either of the systems if one can choose the database according to the needs of the application.

Applications, where sensor data is of one specific form or sensor, is sending some sensitive data in such cases SQL should be the ideal choice. But in projects like Smart City where data requirements are unrelated, indeterminate or evolving, or in projects where future expansion is expected, the use of NoSQL will be a better option. To evaluate which database system performs better, research work must be application-specific. Only then true results can be fetched. Future scope for this study can be focusing more on security vulnerabilities in NoSQL, analyze the techniques used in both systems to make data retrieval faster, calculating the response time of queries on both databases, and then comparing the results.

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FULL Paper PDF file:

SQL & NoSQL Database Study for Internet of Things



Sharvari Rautmare, Dr. D. M. Bhalerao




SQL & NoSQL Database Study for Internet of Things

Publish in

International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering, and Technology



PDF reference and original file: Click here

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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.