Polyglot persistence and multi-model databases allow an application to take advantage of multiple data models. Applications have to scale exponentially when the user base grows. Often, only one database is not enough to support all the functionalities required. This requires setting up more than one endpoint for data storage.
There are multiple types of databases to choose from and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Instead of choosing one storage type and dealing with trade-offs, each functionality can use the model best-suited.
What is polyglot persistence?
Polyglot storage allows integration of multiple types of data storage ranging from traditional RDBMS (Relational Database Management Systems) to NoSQL databases such as Graph, Document, Key-Value store. This is a form of decentralized data management architecture.
When to use polyglot persistence
Polyglot persistence opens up the possibility of using any type of database required, including SQL or NoSQL. So each application use case can have the best of both worlds.
When ACID transactions are necessary, the application can be connected to an RDBMS, and if the data is semi-structured and flexible, Document store can be used.
Polyglot persistence requires integration of individual streams of data storage into the application. Maintaining these different blocks of data can be challenging. Apart from maintaining licensing fees for different storage vendors, the enterprise IT team has to be familiar with multiple models and choose the right infrastructure to seamlessly integrate them into a working application. This may require a lot of framework planning and implementation efforts as well.
What is a multi-model database?
A multi-model database is an all-access database with only one endpoint. This means that the data is centralized but there are options to use different databases at the same endpoint.
When to use a multi-model database
In a multi-model database, it is much easier to integrate different data streams into an application. There is no need to worry about scalability or optimizing performance on data from different databases. Since all the data rests at one endpoint, it is much easier to use the data, leading to increased efficiency.
Unlike polyglot persistence, multi-model does not include RDBMS, so maintaining ACID transactions might be a problem. Although in some cases ACID properties are offered by NoSQL databases.
Polyglot Persistence or Multi-model Database?
As discussed above, polyglot persistence and multi-model databases have their own advantages and drawbacks. There are a variety of use cases and requirements that might be better suited to polyglot or NoSQL multi-model databases. Hence, there is no universal solution. The choice depends on the requirements of the application.
Applications today have a variety of needs and requirements. Multi architecture databases allow the usage of more than one database so use cases can utilize the best suited database. Multi-model databases are centralized and include only NoSQL storage structures while polyglot persistence includes SQL as well but it is decentralized so becomes more complicated to implement.