MongoDB, the document-oriented and open source database stores your documents with the help of dynamic schemas, unlike the relational databases that make use of rows and tables for storing your document. While it is still pretty new in the data storage industry when compared to other traditional databases, like Oracle or MySQL, it is drawing a lot of attention for its ability to calculate MapReduce and distributed key value store.

An introduction video on MongoDB

While there are many takers for MongoDB, a number of experts prefer sticking to traditional relational databases as MongoDB also has a number of disadvantages. Thus, to help you decide whether you should switch to MongoDB or continue using your traditional databases, we’ve compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages of MongoDB to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of MongoDB

Load Balancing and Sharding
If you have huge amounts of data or want to distribute the traffic of your database among various machines to balance the load, MongoDB carries a number of advantages over traditional databases. Moreover, Sharding, which is MongoDB’s unique approach for fulfilling the requirements of growth in data, makes use of horizontal scaling and allows you to multiple machines for the purpose of supporting the growth of data.

It doesn’t need data structures that are unified in nature across all the objects in use. This makes using MongoDB much simpler than RDBMS. On the other hand, data consistency is very important at times and is generally a very good thing, thus, it is advised that you should make use of unified data structure.

As all the data is generally at a single location, MongoDB are extremely quick. However, this only stands true when the data you are working on is actually a document. If you are working on a data that emulates relational model, your code will be required to carry out multiple independent queries for the purpose of retrieving single document and this will make it slower than a RDBMS.

Disadvantages of MongoDB

Usage of Memory
As MongoDB stores the key name along with every document, it naturally consumes more memory. Moreover, as slow queries and joins are not possible because join within the code are required to be performed, you often have to deal with duplicate data.

No Joins
Like a relational database, joins are simply not possible in MongoDB. Thus, if you ever need the functionality of joins, you will be required to create multiple queries, which you’ll have to join manually in the code.

Still Under Development
While SQL was developed in the 1980s, MongoDB entered into the market in 2009. As a result, MongoDB is not that extensively documented or tested and also lacks the availability of support and experts.

As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to MongoDB and you can switch to it only if the disadvantages don’t make much of a difference to you. Also, while traditional databases have been used from a long time, MongoDB is pretty new in the industry and does carry a lot of potential for further development. There is a major possibility that MongoDB might be the most advantageous among all the databases in future.