Here’s a fact: Cosmos DB is one of the fastest growing Azure services ever. Many people say, we have SQL Server or Azure SQL DB or Azure Data Warehouse, should we be using Cosmos DB?

Let me tell you why you may want to. People are storing more data than ever, our data is more interconnected, plus we often don’t know the relationships ahead of time. Where Cosmos DB excels is on some of these new types of workloads that have increased complexity, semantics and size.

When you need extreme query workloads that may not scale through an RDBMS and you need to be able to do that while the schema’s evolving and adjust schema as you go, with Cosmos DB you get that scalability, a lower cost and the schema flexibility with sparse and semi structured data.

There are some query capability limits and portability can be an issue depending upon how you’re using it. But Cosmos DB solves most negativities. When you think about a SQL relational world, you think of something very structured and more measurable amounts of data. We can fetch order data and it’s compatible with a lot of tools.

But when we look at a NoSQL world, it fits well for volatile data and for very high read and write throughput. It can perform faster than SQL on the right workloads and it scales well. It also allows for rapid development since you don’t have to design the entire database schema to match all the questions you’re going to need to ask or to have that all identified right from the start.

This allows developers to quickly iterate in their application and change what they need on the backend in real time. Not only does this create a lot of flexibility for the development team, but also for the people designing and architecting the solution.

So, let’s get back to question; should you be using Cosmos DB? To answer this, ask yourself a couple questions: Do you have a data set that could benefit from a flexible schema set up? Do you have the need to query that data and be able to interconnect more data than ever before?

If you answered yes and you’re running into those typical types of NoSQL variables or workloads, then you should absolutely consider using Cosmos DB. If you’re already running Mongo or Maria, Cosmos DB has the ability to look like all those open source database platforms back to your application, plus you cut down on the amount of code, as well as work needed to bring that solution online.

Cosmos DB is incredibly powerful and fast. And it’s only going to get better as the team that’s working on it is committed to innovation. I recommend going through some of the hands-on labs for Cosmos DB on the Microsoft website. You’ll quickly know whether it’s a good workload for you and why it’s the one of the fastest growing Azure services ever. 

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