At the very beginning of most development endeavors lies an important question: Which database to choose? There is such an abundance of database technologies at this moment, it’s no wonder many developers don’t have the time or energy to research new ones. If you are one of those developers and you aren’t very familiar with graph databases in general, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, you will learn about the main differences between a graph database and a relational database, what kind of use-cases are best suited for each database type, and what are their strengths and weaknesses.
The main difference is the way relationships between entities are stored. In a graph database, relationships are stored at the individual record level, while a relational database uses predefined structures, a.k.a. table definitions.
Relational databases are faster when handling huge numbers of records because the structure of the data is known ahead of time. This also leads to a smaller memory footprint. Graph databases don’t have a predefined structure for the data which is why each record has to be examined individually during a query to determine the structure of the data.