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Document Data Stores

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In this step, we’ll explore the use of JSON files as a NoSQL datastore.

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

JSON files provide us with a flexible structure and their content can often be considered human-readable due to the use of plain text. JSON files are natively supported by a variety of common application development frameworks, particularly JavaScript (as hinted in the name) which is a common programming language for web-applications.

NoSQL database as JSON documents?

The flexible structure allows us to create non-relational databases in the form of collected JSON documents rather than blobs.

A big advantage of storing our records as files is that when exchanging data between a browser and a server, the data can only be text. JSON is text, and we can convert any JavaScript object into JSON and send JSON to the server. We can also convert any JSON received from the server into JavaScript objects. This way, we can work with the data as JavaScript objects with no complicated parsing and translations.

The contents of a JSON file can be queried using T-SQL, a variant of SQL available in many of the Azure and Microsoft Visual Studio products mentioned in this course.

They can also be dynamically transformed into a range of table formats, including for the storage in Azure SQL Servers through the use of OPENJSON, or to be presented as plain HTML to be viewed on simple webpages.

Azure Cosmos DB

When working with the Azure Cosmos DB (mentioned in the previous step), we could choose to use either the MongoDB or Azure Document DB APIs if we wish to work with a JSON based structure.

In the next step, we will look at our final type of NoSQL data store called graph stores.

Join the discussion

What do you think are reasons that would lead someone to choose a JSON structure over a key-value store?

Use the Discussion section below and let us know your thoughts. Try to respond to at least one other post and once you’re happy with your contribution, click the Mark as complete button to move on to the next step.

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