NoSQL (Not Only SQL) databases have been around for a long time now, but only are we now seeing some real results and benchmarks being analyzed. It can get quite confusing at first, knowing which particular NoSQL system is the best for your project, so here’s a nice infographic that tries to outline the systems in an efficient manner.

You get quite a lot of opinions on what NoSQL is, and what it isn’t. For one, if you’re coping with medium-sized traffic bumps; you probably don’t need to switch over to a NoSQL system. Read this post to learn a little more about the corporate power behind open database systems, and how to better understand the definition of true NoSQL.

Right, and if you’re COMPLETELY new to NoSQL, then I recommend to dig deep into this article that was written by Higher Visibility. You’ll see that there are hundreds of specific and niche-like uses for NoSQL databases. Speaking of learning, can I recommend some additional book posts for you to explore?

I’m always looking to expand my (our) collection of free (and paid) books that are available on this site. If you’re looking for a specific collection of books on a specific subject (like programming languages) – please leave a comment and we can discuss the possibility further.

1. Learn NoSQL Database Design From Scratch

I’m fully aware of how busy your life can get, and sometimes the urge to learn something new can be put aside for quite some time, sometimes for so long – that you don’t even care about learning that new thing. NoSQL is great, as it provides some never seen before features that enable to scale even the largest of websites, and applications.

If you’re not a fan of books, perhaps you would like to consider enrolling in this course. You’ll get access to five hours of video content, over twenty unique lectures, and most importantly – all the necessary knowledge and pointers to help you master NoSQL design concepts. Alongside that, you will learn how to work with MongoDB, how to use Express, Jade and Mongooso, oh and also – how to use Node.js together with MongoDB! Quite a bit of learning to do!

At the moment, there are nearly a thousand students that have taken part in this, so once you join – you’re guaranteed to have access to the stories and problems that these students have discussed and dealt with, and who knows – you might just find your new favorite thing to play with.

2. CouchDB: The Definitive Guide

CouchDB is known for being a very flexible document-oriented database that can be be adapted to the needs of storing, accessing and processing data with ease. In their own words, CouchDB creators are saying that it’s the ideal database system to use for web applications that have to deal with large amounts of loosely structured data. Not only that, but CouchDB – being an open-source project – can solve tasks that perhaps traditional databases would find hard to do.

3. Extracting Data from NoSQL Databases (PDF)

The book looks at many aspects of NoSQL management, but mostly the topics of discussion are: Theory, Surveys, Problem Solving & Analysis, Implementation, and also future references about Cassandra, and Neo4j tools. The book does focus around the analytics software Spotfire a little bit, but many of the insights are genuine and will aid your learning progress.

4. Graph Databases

Graph Databases, published by O’Reilly Media, discusses the problems that are well aligned with graph databases, with examples drawn from practical, real-world use cases. This book also looks at the ecosystem of complementary technologies, highlighting what differentiates graph databases from other database technologies, both relational and NOSQL.

You get quite a bit of learning material from this free book. Not only will you be learning how to do data modeling with graphs, but you’ll also end up building your very own graph database application. Seven great chapters that will give you a better idea of how to work with graph databases.

5. MongoDB Ruby Driver Koans

The Ruby Koans walk you along the path to enlightenment in order to learn Ruby. The goal is to learn the Ruby language, syntax, structure, and some common functions and libraries. We also teach you culture. Testing is not just something we pay lip service to, but something we live. It is essential in your quest to learn and do great things in the language.

6. MongoDB Succinctly

MongoDB is among the most popular NoSQL database systems in the World right now, and for many – it has become the new MySQL! In this book, Agus Kurniawan takes on a journey that will helps us learn the ins and outs of MongoDB, and by the time we finish the book – we should be fairly proficient, enough to build our own apps supported by MongoDB back-end! If you’re a Windows developer, even better – the end of the book focuses on Windows Forms and ASP.NET!

7. NoSQL Databases (PDF)

You’ve just heard of NoSQL and find it very appealing, but not quite sure where to start? Are you lacking the basic terminology knowledge of NoSQL systems? This book is perfect for both beginners and experts, it covers wide variety of topics, but mostly those that help to understand how NoSQL works in the real world. I found the visualized data and table data to be really helpful with the learning process.

8. The Little MongoDB Book

You can never learn too much, every author, every developer – we all have different points of view when it comes to building, constructing and learning things. Here we have a tiny 32 page eBook that will give you all the necessary insights and knowledge to get started with MongoDB development right on the spot. It’s by Karl Seguin, someone who has experience in both writing, and programming.

9. A Little Riak Book

Riak is an open-source, distributed key/value database for high availability, fault-tolerance, and near-linear scalability. In short, Riak has remarkably high uptime and grows with you. Feel free to just get this book and read it like any other fiction or non-fiction book, the author insists on it! It’s not a walk-through book, it’s a definitive guide to Riak and how it works.

10. The Little Redis Book

Karl Seguin loves to produce tiny, concise and insightful content, and just like with his Little MongoDB Book, the Little Redis Book is just as packed with juicy stuff as the first one was. In this book, you’ll learn the basics of Redis and its uses in the real world. It’s only a 29 page eBook, and if you have been meaning to learn more about NoSQL, why not give it a go?

11. NoSQL Distilled

Martin Fowler is adored in the developer community, he seems to have a good grasp of what is what, and he definitely knows a thing or two about programming, and as we see here – about databases, too. By having read this book, you’ll know whether you should adapt NoSQL to any of your future projects, and if yes – what are the required next steps to take.

Each created project is in some way different than the one before, and it’s difficult to predict what kind of data storage we might require down the line. Rather than pushing you to use NoSQL, this book aims to lead by example, so that in the end you’re the one making the final decision.

Free Books for Learning NoSQL

You can expect a salary of up to $100,000 as a NoSQL developer, so perhaps it’s not just another thing to throw into the trash can. You’re – literally – given free learning resources that would take you 2-3 months tops to finish. I’m not saying that you should get into it right away, but some of these books might be great starting points for something new in your development career. I love free learning resources!