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Key-value stores are probably the simplest form of database management systems. They can only store pairs of keys and values, as well as retrieve values when a key is known.
These simple systems are normally not adequate for complex applications. On the other hand, it is exactly this simplicity, that makes such systems attractive in certain circumstances. For example resource-efficient key-value stores are often applied in embedded systems or as high performance in-process databases.
An extended form of key-value stores is able to sort the keys, and thus enables range queries as well as an ordered processing of keys.
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