Free / Open Source NoSQL (Non-SQL) Database Servers and Engines

Database engines that do not use Structured Query Language

Free / Open Source Non-SQL (NoSQL) Database Servers and Engines

Listed on this page are free and/or open source relational database engines, servers and libraries that do not use Structured Query Language (SQL) as the means for managing and accessing the database. These are referred to as NoSQL databases.

Note that if you cannot find a relational database management system that suits your requirements here, you may also want to check out the Free Database Libraries and Source Code page which may contain more libraries, some of which also do not use SQL. My decision whether to include a relational database library on that page or here on this page can sometimes be quite arbitrary, so it may be a good idea to take a look there as well.

For non-programmers who arrived at this page from outside, and are wondering what SQL is, see the article What is MySQL? What is a Database? What is SQL? for the answer in plain English.

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Free / Open Source NoSQL / Non-SQL Database Servers and Engines

FoundationDB New

FoundationDB is a distributed database with an ordered key-based store, ACID transactions, replication, scalability (eg, it can automatically handle data replication and partitioning on machines that you add to a cluster), etc. Platforms supported include Linux and MacOS. This open source software released under the Apache licence ("license" if you use a different variant of English).

Apache CouchDB

CouchDB is a peer-based distributed schema-free database system that uses JavaScript as its query language and stores data as independent JSON documents. Access to the database is via HTTP. It is open source and works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Android and possibly other platforms.


MongoDB is an open source document-oriented database (using JSON style documents with dynamic schemas). Your databases can be indexed on any attribute and files in the database can be of any size. The software supports replication, so that you can mirror your database. The database is scalable through an auto-sharding architecture. There is built-in support for automatic balancing, automatic failover, no single points of failure, etc. Other features include atomic, in-place updating, map/reduce for batch processing and data aggregation, etc. The software can be used on both 64 bit and 32 bit versions of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris, although the 32 bit versions are limited to 2 GB of data. The database server itself is written in C++. Your client program using the database, however, can use any language that is supported by the drivers. At this time, this includes C, C++, Erlang, C#, Haskell, JavaScript, Java, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, and Scala. There is also third party support for many other languages.

NOSQL Relational Database Management System

NoSQL, a GNU GPLed relational database management system, is, as its name suggests, is not an SQL database. It's actually a shell-level tool that creates regular ASCII files that can be manipulated by other text tools (like text editors, etc). It is closely integrated with Unix, and the author created it because he wanted something he could use for simple database management tasks that didn't require the full feature set usually present in other DBMSes.

LEAP Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)

A relational database management system that comes with full C source code, released under the GNU GPL. According to its website, it is as powerful as the complex offerings from Sybase, Oracle and IBM, but was originally written as an educational tool. It's query language is a full implementation of relational algebra. It supports Windows 95/NT, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, HP/UX, AIX, etc.

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