23 Best Database Software and Systems of 2023
One of the keys to success in any business is to make data-driven decisions. Whether you’re running a marketing campaign, drawing up a budget or simply drawing a business plan, well-managed data can be the key to making realistic and productive projections in your business.
But properly managing, updating and tracking data in your business can be a chore. In fact without the proper tools, your data archives may become outdated, full of redundant pieces and even at risk of getting into the wrong hands.
This is where database software and database management systems are useful. These applications are designed by developers to help businesses organize, manage and securely store information be it for internal use, creating new products or meeting industry requirements.
In this guide, we’ll provide a neutral review of the top database software based on their features, pricing, user-friendliness and industries they are best suited for.
What is the Best Database Software?
Every database software is ideally designed to make it easier to store and manage your data. Most software is often designed with a specific type of end-user in mind.
Thus it’s important to keep in mind what your main goal of using database software is when choosing one.
Keeping your business needs, technical expertise and support in mind as you decide which software to choose will help you choose the right software for you.
Let’s get started!
A Beginner-Friendly Database Management Platform for People Who Don’t Code.
Knack is a Service-as-a-Software (SaaS) based online tool for database management designed for anyone who doesn’t code. It was established in 2010 and provides one of the best user experiences in terms of ease-of-use.
The company boasts of big-name brands as clients including Spotify, Panasonic, Harvard University, HP, Zendesk, and many more.
You can quickly structure, connect, and specify how exactly you want your data to be organized. It combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the power of building a database without having to know any code.
Knack shines for its flexibility and easy customization. You can choose how you’d like your data saved, whether it's simple text fields or capturing signatures. Set up equations and sequences just like you would in a regular spreadsheet.
All you need to do to get started with the app is to structure your data based on your preferred columns whether it’s email and names for personal info or sales information. That’s it.
In case you’re unsure how to create your database, Knack comes with over 30 predesigned database templates based on business type or features that you need. So there are agency-business templates, administrative business templates, and many more.
In terms of feature-based templates, there are project management templates and even templates to manage inventory, payroll, assign tasks, and manage customers.
Knack gives you lots of functionality in one simple package so you don’t have to pay for multiple tools for every department in your organization. This could potentially save businesses a lot of cash.
Speaking of cash, Knack has three pricing plans, all of which come with unlimited users and reports.
- The Starter Plan bills at $39/month gives you up to 20,000 records, 2 GB of storage, and 3 app connections.
- The Pro Plan starts at $79/month and comes with 50,000 records, 5 GB of storage, and 8 app connections.
- The Corporate Plan bills at $179/month and is designed for medium to large businesses and provides 125,000 records, 50 GB of storage, 25 app connections, and premier support with same-day response.
If you’re looking for a custom solution, try their custom enterprise plans called Plus 1, Plus 2, and Plus 3 which are designed for massive database needs. For example, with the Plus 3 plan at $999/month, you get 1.5 million records.
- Very beginner-friendly.
- Unlimited user accounts at no extra charge.
- Very simple to create HIPPA and PCI compliant user logins.
- Easy to create apps with a little learning.
- Allows easy customization of apps with Java and CSS.
- Can be used by coders and non-tech folks alike.
- Mobile app version available.
- Mobile site load time is too slow.
- Customer support isn’t always reliable.
Get started on knack with a free 14-day trial!
A Marketing-centric Database Compilation and Integration Solution.
While some database software is intended to cater to both developers and end-users, Improvado was made solely with the marketer in mind. The platform helps you retrieve data from many sources. It also edits, modifies and exports data to its final destination
With over 200 app integrations including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Twitter, MailChimp, Shopify, Snapchat, TikTok, Excel and many others, you are covered no matter where your data is supposed to go. You can even create custom data imports based on data sources.
Improvado pulls sales and marketing data at many granular dimensions for example campaign, geo and the keyword level. With this approach, marketers can identify important insights based on their dataset.
The database application works to process any information you feed it through data extraction. It then transforms it. This may be renaming metrics and mathematical calculations that result in a more complex and insightful data structure than the extracted raw data.
This processed data now becomes your Improvado database or can be loaded into any other storage solution you prefer.
Among Improvado’s key features include intuitive reporting that can reduce manual reporting and its errors by 90%. It also makes it easy to visualize data or send data to visualization tools like Google Data Studio, Looker, Tableau or Google Sheets.
Finally, no developer or coding knowledge is required to use or make modifications with the software, saving you developer costs. The software was designed to be used by beginners and non-technical staff alike.
Price wise, you can get started with the Business package which bills at $100/month or you can request a custom quote for your specific business needs.
Get started with a free demo on Improvado!
- Migration and duplication of online databases instantly.
- Several APIs to connect to and integrate with other platforms including Google Sheets.
- Allows a side-by-side data comparison.
- Rapid response customer support team.
- No coding knowledge needed to use the software.
- Marketing centred database solution.
- Excludes most recent entries during data analysis.
A High-Performance Enterprise SQL Database Software for Individuals and Teams.
This is one of the most popular relational database software in the market. Created by tech giant Microsoft, this database software offers comprehensive database management and lets you access bulk data using SQL (structured query language).
Because of this, you can perform complex data analysis and easily update and manage your database with top-level security. The software is scalable and offers enterprise-level features to help C-level executives make better decisions.
The best part is it works on multiple operating systems including MacOS, Windows, Linux, Solaris, Unix, and IBM.
Microsoft offers two versions of its SQL server, the Power Business Intelligence (BI) version intended for large businesses that need enterprise-level data analysis and the basic license per user account version. You can also choose add-on subscription features as well.
It lets you create powerful data models and deliver interactive reports, KPIs, and paginated reports from a single modern web portal.
- Cutting edge performance that converts raw data into actionable insights that can be accessed on any device.
- For developers, Improved Query Processing which means it takes advantage of adaptive query processing features to improve query performance in SQL database and SQL server.
- The software automatically fixes any plan errors. It constantly reviews and corrects any SQL plan performance issues by identifying problematic query execution.
Microsoft SQL server (2019 edition) has licenses for a free Express version and Developer version designed for a single user that can be downloaded for free. The Standard CAL and Server versions come at $209 and $899 per license.
Enterprise versions come at $13,748 per license for a 2 core pack.
- Can perform complex queries and data management tasks.
- Easily integrates with other programs.
- Works on multiple operating systems.
- Identifies numerous names in the database system through Template Explorer.
- Combines scripts and views of linked objects or groups.
- Makes setting up a new database easy.
- Free versions available.
- Needs advanced technical knowledge to run.
- Implementing a long query often takes longer than the expected time.
Get started for free on either the developer version or express version of the Microsoft SQL server and see if Microsoft SQL is a good fit for your business.
A Secure and Reliable SQL Database Software for Both Individual and Enterprise Needs.
As one of the first SQL based database management software on the scene, MySQL is the most popular and well-known open-source platform around. It was first created in Sweden in 1995 but later acquired by California-based computing giant Oracle in 2010.
Today, this open-source software has become the go-to option for developers looking for a relational database platform to handle bulk data for enterprises. Amongst its popular clients include tech powerhouses Google, Facebook, and YouTube.
MySQL is loved because even though it is open-source, it offers incredible reliability and security, unlike other smaller open-source programs. This is why reputable tech giants all use this software to manage their databases.
Another popular way the platform is used is in web application development. In fact, if you’re looking for a simple, reliable, affordable, and easy-to-learn platform, MySQL is the perfect fit for you.
Amongst its key features are
- Better scalability and improved security of databases.
- Business centric solutions included for websites like ecommerce stores. Ecommerce businesses can take advantage of business-oriented applications.
- Excellent technical support even for an open-source platform with improved security and protection from potential cyberattacks.
- Easy applicability of the platform reduces the risk of errors, costs and makes it easier to develop, deploy and manage applications.
MySQL software is available at varying prices depending on the number of socket servers and licenses you need. Prices range from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000 per purchase.
- Uses standard programming language SQL.
- Multiple variations to suit different business and server needs.
- Better suited for web development applications compared to other SQL databases.
- Open-source code provides the flexibility of customization for developers.
- Data is protected by caching, log files, and frequent backups regardless of what happens to the server.
- Needs new hardware to run efficiently.
- Upgrades make using the advanced version a lot more expensive.
A Cost-Effective Cloud-Based Database Management Service for SQL Databases.
Amazon is better known as an ecommerce giant, but it has since developed a full suite of tech services, notably Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is under this service they offer their relational database service.
It offers a stable and powerful cloud-based database service that stands tall amongst its competitors.
The best part is, Amazon’s RDS is cost-effective and gives you resizable capacity. Time-consuming tasks like hardware setup,patching and backups are all easily automated.
Benefits of Amazon RDS
This way you can now work on other applications and optimize their performance and security for better outputs. You can also easily import databases from other existing platforms like Amazon Aurora, MySQL, and others.
Amazon RDS is best suited for experienced tech users, data scientists, and niche database companies. It allows users to create, run, and grow a cloud-based database.
Its major functionalities include
- Better backup and security because of cloud computing technology and a dedicated connection. All backups are done automatically and secured.
- Because the database is hosted under Amazon Web Services, you can easily scale your computing resources easily or double your storage needs as and when necessary using an API call.
- Improved scalability because you can scale up to more than the capacity of the single database deployment for read-heavy database workloads
- Amazon RDS is easy-to-use because its features and abilities are similar to the familiar database engines like MySQL, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL server.
So how much does it cost to get started with Amazon RDS? Just like how cloud-hosting works, Amazon’s RDS is a pay-as-you-go-service.
That means you only pay for the resources you use. You also have the option to get the service On-Demand or pay to Reserve what you’ll need.
Not sure how much you’ll need? The website offers a handy monthly calculator tool to help you estimate your needs.
- Processes heavy workloads in a single database system
- Pay-as-you-go billing means you only pay for what you use.
- Quick access to other database engines like Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL from within the platform.
- Easy to increase your storage through just one API call making it ideal for programmers.
- Offers stable and reliable performance and security.
- Round the clock responsive and helpful customer support.
- Disaster recovery is simplified as is failover.
- Integrates seamlessly with the rest of the AWS system.
- No hardware maintenance costs involved.
- May end up being more expensive compared to other database software services.
- Cloud-based servers make it impossible to track and check server logs when issues come up.
- No automatic performance tuning or partition management.
Get started with Amazon’s RDS service with their ‘free to try’ option.
6. Oracle RDBMS.
A Reliable Cloud-Based Relational Database Management Solution for Large Businesses.
Oracle has been in the computing space since 1977 and has grown to become a leading authority in providing computing technology. Their relational database management system (RDBMS) is run as a database-as-a-service (DBaaS).
It provides the option to either store your data physically on location or in the cloud. Though the software was somewhat behind in recent advancements in SQL database management, recent updates to the platform have made it more competitive with newer SQL database solutions.
The service provides secure data and transaction management. If you run an enterprise business and need to handle bulk data, Oracle RDBMS is a good solution.
Other benefits of the software are that it lets businesses control and process data through automated self-patch, backup, recovery, and storage. The service runs a unified database engine, which uses blockchain to run analytics, prevent fraud, and implement machine learning internally.
Again, because it runs on cloud-based technology, you get multiple dedicated servers/virtual machines, you can run a large number of applications and hardware processes with minimal delay.
In terms of security, Oracle’s Data Safe feature provides a control center for tracking users activities, compliance implementation and detecting risk.
Other powerful features include
- Flexibility to run the software on a personal computer or large supercomputer with no loss of efficiency.
- Less risk of resource consumption, data consolidation and allows recovery of pluggable databases.
- Larger database capacity, less space consumption, more security features, and faster processing with the latest version.
Oracle RDBMS doesn’t offer fixed pricing plans or license prices. The company serves different businesses of varied sizes and needs, hence offers price quotes based on what your business needs.
You can contact their responsive customer support team for a personalized quote.
- Works great both on personal computers and supercomputers.
- High-level security features.
- Flexibility to create partitions for better administrative control.
- Robust and reliable performance.
- Seamless integrations with various platforms support the development of apps with multiple technologies.
- Good at scaling to large datasets and performance numbers
- Not suited for small businesses and startups.
- May consume more resources and run slowly especially when handling large databases or multiple complex processes.
Try Oracle RDBMS for free with a free 14-day trial.
7. SQL Developer.
An Advanced Database Management Tool for Developers and Database Administrators.
SQL developer is a graphical user interface designed to let database users and administrators do more in less time. The tool was created by Oracle as a productivity aid, helping the end-user save time and make the most of their Oracle Database.
The tool was created with two main users in mind, the developer and the database administrator. For the developer, SQL developer provides robust editors for SQL, PL/SQL, Stored Java Procedures and XML.
This makes it easier to run queries, create execution plans, and export data in a format of your choice. You could also execute, debug, and test your database programs with the platform.
For database administrators, a dedicated DBA panel provides multiple interfaces for the most critical tasks.
Some of the features the panel provides support for include data pumps, recovery management, oracle auditing, resource management, user and role control as well as storage control.
The service allows secure connection capabilities with several other database technologies. You get a large range of tools and massive flexibility that can be used for any purpose.
Also, managing and developing an oracle database either in the cloud or traditionally is made simple by the software.
Major features include
- Stronger integration with other database options and other products.
- Queries can be reused to create report definitions in unique layouts and render PDF and HTML format outputs.
- Free access to all other company features and similar databases including the SQL worksheet object development and managements plus DBA controls.
- Saves time by shortening how long it takes to execute multiple queries. It also allows users to quickly create queries in multiple formats like XML, PDF, or Excel.
SQL Developer is 100% free to use. Simply download it and get started now.
- Free to use and free access to other company tools.
- Easy to write and fine-tune SQL queries.
- Import and export data from external databases.
- Easy access to statistical information from the data dictionary.
- Allows exporting in multiple formats.
- No installation needed, just copy and paste into a specific file or location.
- No integration with SQL Developer with Enterprise Manager.
- Automated operating systems often change database queries.
8. IBM Informix.
A Self-Managing, Embeddable Database Management Solution for Both SQL and NoSQL databases.
A product from another tech giant, IBM’s Informix database solution is designed to bring speed and seamless integration to SQL, NoSQL, time series, and spatial data. It may be from an industry leader, but the software is lightweight yet powerfully self-managing.
Informix is versatile and easy to use, making it a great choice for different working environments including enterprise warehouses and individual application development. It can be used to provide embedded data management solutions.
Among some of Informix notable features are
- Speed and round the clock accessibility to data transactions. The platform makes sure your data is always within reach by providing secondary standby database servers, shared-risk servers and high availability data replication (HADR).
- Smoother data management. Informix has smart triggers that undertake event-driven processing and allow database push notifications. This means you can automate your entire database management workflow so you have time to work on other things.
- Easy set-up and low storage consumption. The software can be installed in just a few clicks and takes up a meager 100MB of memory. Meaning it won't disrupt your operations and can be easily embedded anywhere.
- Live analytics tracking. The software allows you to handle multiple data transactions and workloads in real-time while giving you analytics-driven insights fast.
IBM’s informix comes at different price ranges starting from $1,250 for Small firms, $2,200 for Medium-sized organizations, $4,000 for large databases and $8,000 for enterprise-level databases.
- An intuitive dashboard makes it easier to manage data.
- Easily embeddable and more efficient in different environments compared to other RDBMS.
- Better scalability and compatibility across numerous distributed node computing systems.
- Good data compression helps in faster backup operations and replication.
- Hybrid data capabilities to merge relational data with geospatial, JSON and other non-traditional data types compared to other software.
- Replication feature needs upgrading.
- Pricing model is confusing for higher versions.
Get started with IBM’s Informix today.
A Fast-Processing, Hybrid Database Management System for SQL Databases.
Created in 1999, Altibase serves over 650 large business clients including more than 6 Fortune 500 companies, and has been adopted in over 6000 instances of mission-critical use cases in a wide range of industries. Its client portfolio includes HP, Hyundai, Unicom, and Toshiba Medical.
This just speaks to how powerful Altibase is as an enterprise database software. It combines high performance with relational open-source databases. This makes it perfect for telecom, finance, manufacturing, and IT companies.
Altibase is a hybrid DBMS, meaning it delivers high-performance data processing internally through its own memory database but also offers large storage through an external disk database.
Amongst its peers in the relational DBMS space, it is part of a select few service providers that provide scale-out technology as well.
Key performance features include
- Deployment in any of three modes; in-memory only, on-disk and hybrid mode (both memory and disk).
- MDB (In-memory Database): It offers user-friendly and lightning-fast architecture. It is efficient for use cases that demand low latency and very high throughput
- Create partitioned tables that can transfer data freely between memory tablespace to disk and the other way round.
- Enhanced linear performance without any coordinator related obstacles thanks to large scale sharding-out capacity. Thus you lose no performance when u scale up the database.
IBM’s Informix is open-source database software, thus it’s free to use and comes with no user fees or monthly subscriptions.
- Responsive customer support is available via training tickets as well as remote administrators to handle any sudden database issues.
- Is better applied across multiple industries compared to other DBMS including telecom, finance, manufacturing and others.
- High-performance capability includes tools to service enterprise-grade applications.
- Scheduled preventive checkups on the system ensure optimal availability and performance.
- The unified engine supports in-memory including disk-resident databases.
- It supports ANSI SQL-92 and other SQLs provided by other systems as well.
- Can’t be accessed on mobile devices.
- No Windows support for both server and client.
- No native GUI management tool.
Get started with Altibase for free today!
10. EMS SQL Manager.
High-Performance Database Management tool for SQL Databases.
EMS SQL Manager is a high-end solution for creating and managing databases. This high-performance tool is designed to work with Microsoft SQL server database creation. It also works with any EMS SQL server from year 2,000 to the latest versions.
The platform supports the most recent SQL server features like sequences, spatial indexes and columns, file tables, custom server roles, and many more.
With other powerful SQL tools like the Visual Database Designer to design your database with a few clicks, Visual Query Builder to help you build complicated SL queries, you’re sure of efficient development and management of your database.
It also comes with a unique, modern graphical user interface with a well-described wizard system that is so simple to understand that even a newbie can start using it right away.
Some of its functionalities include;
- Easily import and export files from your database in multiple formats including MS Excel or Access files.
- Reduced disk space consumption of up to 95% and less time during backups. You can also automate database maintenance tasks to improve data accessibility.
- Support for multiple versions of MySQL including versions 4.1 up to 5.7 plus the ability to control all objects in a sequential manner.
- Simplified SQL administrator processes including maintenance tasks, performance statistics, and analysis as well as server permissions management.
EMS SQL Manager offers free trials, but depending on the license and version of the software you buy, prices range from $60 for specific add-on features up to $240 per software purchase.
- Good for users who just want to monitor existing databases.
- Already works seamlessly with several SQL tools.
- Simplifies the execution of multiple SQL queries on a database.
- Its database designer is intuitive and useful.
- Better data export and import capabilities than other DBMS.
- Improved data manipulation and security management.
- Offers access to PostgreSQL server via HTTP protocol.
- Slows down when processing multiple database objects at a go.
- Multi-user access system is complex.
A Cloud-based Distributed Database Platform with Easy Scalability.
MongoDB is a general-purpose, document-based, distributed database built for modern application developers and for the cloud era.
So far most of the databases we’ve reviewed use SQL but MongoDB is different because it uses NoSQL. A NoSQL database is modeled in means other than the tabular relations used in relational databases. It uses collections and documents.
The software is created for document databases and used for high volume data storage. A document in this regard is made up of key-value pairs which is the basic unit of data in MongoDB.
The MongoDB environments make it easy to scale. Companies across the world use its defined clusters with some running 100+ nodes with around millions of documents within the database.
Collections on the other hand consist of sets of documents with functions that work the same way relational database tables work. Some of the main features of MongoDB include
- Its document structure fits how developers build their classes and objects no matter the programming language used. Developers may not always have rows and columns as classes but will have a clear structure with key-value pairs.
- MongoDB’s data model lets you show hierarchical relationships, store arrays, and other more complex structures easily.
- The documents in the software don’t need to have a defined schema beforehand. Fields can be created on an as-and-when basis.
- Documents in MongoDB can vary by the number of fields giving you flexibility in how data is presented. The size and content of each document can be different.
MongoDB offers deployment in different environments be it in the cloud or on-premise. It can also be deployed on Amazon Web Services, Azure, or GCP. You’ll have three pricing plans to choose from.
The Shared Cluster Plan is their free plan which gives you 512MB of free storage that can be increased to 5GB. This plan is designed for teams that are still learning the software.
The Dedicated Clusters plan starts from $57/month and gives you advanced environments to deploy applications.
The Dedicated Multi-region clusters bills at $95/month provide fast processing speeds and multiple deployments at a go.
- Free plan available for small teams and those who want to learn how to use the platform.
- Easy to scale due to cloud-based deployment.
- Fast database processing.
- No predefined schema allowing for dynamic schematics for unstructured data and storage options.
- Swift and simple to install, setup, and execute.
- A bit of a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with NoSQL format.
- Risk of duplicate data due to poorly defined data relationships.
Get started with MongoDB for FREE today.
A Hybrid NoSQL and Cache Database Solution.
Another contender in both the cloud and enterprise software space, Redis offers both cloud and downloadable software that can be used as databases. It is an open-source, in-memory data structure store that serves as a database, cache, and message broker.
It also uses the NoSQL format, meaning you aren’t limited to only tables of relational databases. You can use other data structures like strings, hashes, and sets. Since it can store data in the cloud, rather than on a disk, Redis is robust, reliable, and provides lightning-fast speed.
The fact that its data is stored in the server’s main memory means you get faster response times when doing read and write tasks. It also means your data will always be available thanks to automated backups.
Other notable features include
- Live analytics because of Redis fast processing times (down to sub-milliseconds) allows you to view data in real-time and make data-driven decisions especially on marketing events like ad campaigns and AI-driven machine learning.
- Redis makes it easier to develop location-based applications by providing geospatial indexing, sets, and operations. It saves time on research and location data sorting using intelligent geo implementation solutions.
- Build responsive database constructs using Redis caching capabilities. It easily processes a large amount of info in real-time which allows for fewer database access requests. This reduces the traffic to the database. Teams can improve their application throughputs remarkably.
In terms of pricing, Redis Enterprise cloud offers multiple plans with a flexible pricing scheme, suitable to any dataset size, throughput, or the number of databases.
Plans start from 30MB and 1 database set which you get for free, $7/month for 100MB, and 4 databases all the way to $338/month for 5GB and 32 databases. There is also the option to pay-as-you-go for whatever amount of storage you use and 64 databases.
- Uses NoSQL which gives better data representation flexibility.
- Both cloud and premise-based solutions available.
- Fast data processing time (minimal latency).
- Ideal for building distributed applications that need to share data across geographies.
- Provides a simple data structure with a low risk of errors.
- Cloud pricing plans are not cheap if you need large storage for a database.
- No support for multi-threading, so it won't benefit from multi-core CPUs.
Get started with a FREE trial of Redis now!
Document Key-Map NoSQL Database Solution for Medium-Sized Businesses.
CouchDB is a NoSQL based solution that gives you flexibility and more ways to process your data. With both web and mobile-friendly applications, CouchDB is one of the most easily accessible databases on the market.
What makes it unique compared to other NoSQL databases is that each document field is stored as a key-value map. Fields may be either a key/value pair, list, or map. Documents stored in the database are given unique document-level identifiers.
Each revision is also given a revision number to track any saved changes to the database.
CouchDB offers a shift from traditional relational databases and hence the unique benefits that come with its features. Some of which include:
- Fast indexing, retrieval, and tracking of any database modifications.
- Easy replication of any data across multiple locations and databases.
- A browser-based user interface called Fauxton that allows you to access your data, modify permissions and configurations.
- High-level security with user-based roles. You can choose which account is a reader account and which is an admin account. Reader accounts can both read and write data.
- Combined authentication and validation in one step by simply ensuring the document creator login is valid.
Since CouchDB is open-source, it is available for free download on their website.
- Free to use and open-source.
- Both web and mobile applications available.
- Stores JSON data and each document can have any number of binary attachments.
- Fast data processing and backup.
- Community-based support using Slack and IRC.
- May not be useful for bulk-data processing.
- do a query that you haven't created a view for, you need to create a temporary view which makes arbitrary queries time-consuming.
Java-Based NoSQL Graph Database Solution for Large Businesses.
With clientele like eBay, Walmart, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Lufthansa, Neo4J is a unique NoSQL kind database software designed to help businesses make sense of their data visually.
The software was created by Neo Technology, a Swedish company based in San Francisco, California. Its first version was available in February 2010 after which subsequent updates saw it being sold under two different licenses; commercial and Affero General Public (AGPL).
Neo4J is different from its competitors because it is a graph database. Most other NoSQL databases on the market store data as either document or key-value pairs. Neo4J represents data and relationships between data sets with graphs. It is deployed in Java.
Graph databases make it easier to establish relationships and interpret data puzzles. Neo4J uses a specific kind of graph called a property graph.
Property graphs show a numerical value of the relationship between nodes and give attributes to both nodes and their relationship. For example demographics like name, country of residence, and age. These kinds of graphs are the most sophisticated.
The software employs property graphs to extract added value from data of any company with great performance and in the most flexible and scalable way possible.
Other features include
- Aids with fraud detection especially in banking, finance, and e-commerce businesses. Because the software establishes data links visually, it can quickly find patterns that other database software may miss.
- Supports the creation of a centralized and reliable information system that provides 360º insights: employees, customers, and products without any loss in flexibility or performance.
- Provides real-time recommendations and suggestions of ideal products and services for customers based on existing information in the database like their social network profile and online activity.
- Responsiveness and ability to handle massive data nodes (up to 34 billion data nodes) without a drop in performance.
Neo4j offers 4 different versions. There’s a live demo version called Sandbox which can be tested without downloading any software. If you’re looking to try it out on just one computer, the free desktop version is a good choice.
For large businesses and developers, the cloud DBaaS service called Aura bills at $0.09/hour, and Neo4j Server which comes with both free and commercial licenses are available for download.
- Multiple free versions available.
- Graphical representations make data easier to understand and interpret.
- Adding or updating any node/ relation is simplified through the UI or a script.
- Efficient on large datasets and supports multiple relations between nodes.
- Fast data processing and responsiveness.
- Free demo version with tutorials and guides.
- Only uses Java.
- Hard to visualize complex data analyses that have 10 or more relationships.
- Limited support for indexes while doing data lookup.
- Not efficient for large data sets without some hardware upgrades.
Get started with Neo4j for free.
Fast, NoSQL Distributed Document Database Solution.
Another contender in the NoSQL category, Couchbase offers NoSQL database software with a twist. It is a distributed-document database that employs an integrated RAM caching, giving it the ability to create, save, update and retrieve data in a fast and efficient manner.
Couchbase is a hybrid of two popular existing NoSQL technologies, Membase and CouchDB.
Membase is known for high replication and sharding of memcached technology and CouchDb is the leader in document-based models based on JSON. Couchbase combines the storage capacity of CouchDB with the resilience, persistence and sharding of Membase.
This combination helps Couchbase support development of applications especially in environments that need high-performance with little downtime.
The software’s server achieves these results using just a single server and allows for linear load increase by taking advantage of the cluster feature designed with the Couchbase server.
The cluster component distributes data over multiple servers to share the data and I/O load while incorporating intelligence into the server and client access libraries that enable clients to quickly access the right node within the cluster for the information required.
Other notable features include:
- Disaster Recovery system to provide back-ups for all your data so you never lose information.
- Provides a mobile version in addition to the traditional physical server module.
- Easily categorize data into unique channels and create simple document ID formats to help with data retrieval.
In terms of pricing, Couchbase Server pricing starts at $2499.00 as a one-time payment. However, if you’d like to try out the software for free you can get a free trial.
- A free trial version is available.
- Faster performance compared to competitors.
- Comprehensive NoSQL database with in-built SDKs.
- Distributed database design out of the box.
- Replication provides great data resiliency, as well as speed and performance on a global scale.
- Ability to query in fast and flexible N1QL language.
- Multiple dashboards and charts for monitoring databases.
- Ready mobile access.
- No support on community versions.
- Complex queries may take a lot of time to deploy.
High Compatibility, No-Code Visual Analysis Database Solution.
FileMaker is a multi-platform database software that lets you organize information into easy-to-understand screens, forms, and manage projects. The software was initially created to work with Apple devices but later on, Windows compatible versions were created.
What makes Filemaker unique is that unlike most other database software, you don’t need to know how to code or understand a programming language to use it. The program comes with more than 30 other built-in starter solutions, which help users complete critical tasks faster.
The software’s schema is similar to MySQL’s schema and also offers a comparable level of security that can be configured based on your needs.
Like other software, FileMaker also uses tables and fields to create databases. You’ll need to specify a storage format such as a number or text, just like you would with MySQL. You can also link tables via logical relationships for better data interpretation, like in a relational database.
There are multiple versions of FileMaker including FileMaker Go and FileMaker Web Direct which are meant to work on mobile and on web browsers respectively. The browser version helps your database to look the same online as it is offline.
The server version (for both MacOS and Windows Server) runs databases on location and is called FileMaker Server. FileMaker Cloud for AWS (Amazon Web Services) is designed for cloud databases and runs on Linux CentOs.
Other top features in FileMaker include;
- Added SSL support and encryption, database encryption and external authentication through Active Directory to ensure protection from cyber threats.
- The WebDirect version of FileMaker allows you to access your data in your browser. It would appear in the layout within FileMaker Pro Advanced — no knowledge of HTML is necessary.
- Multiple modes like Layout, Find, Preview and Browse mode to make data easier to enter and understand plus the ability to include multiple tables in one document.
FileMaker offers two plans for it’s cloud based service. The Essentials Plan which bills at $19 per user/month and allows moderate data transfers (2GB) with 2CPUs and $GB memory.
While the Standard Plan bills at $39 per user per month for 5 – 99 users, 6GB of data storage and 2GB data transfers. For the downloadable FileMaker Pro software, you can get it at $540 per license.
- Can be used without programming language.
- Can be stored in the cloud or locally on a PC.
- Doesn’t take up ram or to resources.
- Automatic saving and storage feature for any data entered.
- Allows multiple export formats so you can export whatever details you need.
- No free versions available.
- Entering data in multiple fields is tough because the tab button is jumpy.
- Doesn’t support Adobe Acrobat.
Ideal Lightweight and Serverless SQL Database Solution.
SQLite is an open-source, public-domain database engine that is lightweight and portable. It is C-language based and implements a self-contained, high-reliability and feature-rich SQL database engine.
The software is hailed as the most used database software in the world, fixed into all cell phones and already pre-installed in a number of apps people use daily. Its popularity is for a good reason.
Apart from being open-source and public domain, meaning its completely free and needs no licenses to use, its developers keep a close eye on updates and patches. This ensures the software’s code remains original and free from malicious or copyrighted content.
It is also stable and works across multiple operating systems and their versions, regardless of whether they are old versions of operating systems or not. The developers have also pledged to keep the software that way until 2050.
In SQLite, a database is stored in one file. This differentiates it from other database software because it makes data easier to access and transfer. No need to know any code, you can simply share information via an email attachment or simply copying the file.
A few other benefits of SQLite include
- Designed to withstand memory allocation issues or disk errors.
- Potentially small library size (sometimes under 1000KiB) based on where it is used and the settings, making it easier to use and copy and bulk data.
- Doesn’t need a server thus set-up and installation process is simple.
Because SQLite is open-source and in the public domain, anyone can download and use it for free.
However if you still require proof of ownership or legal documents that show you’re allowed to use the software, the developer offers warranty of title and perpetual right-to-use documents at a fee.
- Lightweight and efficient database management.
- Easy to share data files and documents directly from the database.
- Easy access to and freedom to manipulate a database without involving a server application.
- SQLite columns can store different data types.
- Can be used from all kinds of devices including both android and iOS phones.
- Multiple users can’t update the database at a time.
- Primitive syntax and formatting limitations.
SQL Database Software for Automation and Faster Data Analysis.
Boasting of 20 years of development, a short learning curve and support for multiple platforms, Toad database software isn’t your usual database application. The software is designed to work as an add-on toolset for database administrators to get the most out of their existing software.
Created by Quest Technologies, the application is meant to help data analysts better manage both relational and non-relational databases using SQL. It helps you to automate processes, reduce project delivery times, and eliminate risks involved in handling your data.
Some top features of Toad DBS include
- 40% faster delivery of easy-to-maintain code for your database needs compared to other tools.
- Prevent future database and application performance hiccups and resolve existing ones fast.
- Reduced project delivery times. Easily share best practices, knowledge, and best practices with your entire database management team for a more efficient workflow.
- Better code and database programming for improved productivity on future developments and updates on the database.
- Manage database change risks by predicting and knowing the impact of changes before deployment to avoid downtime.
Toad offers different versions depending on the platform your database is built on. The platform offers an Oracle version for an annual subscription of $195.00 for the first year.
The downloadable versions are also available from $527 for the Base Edition to $3,296 for the DBA edition. All versions come with a Query builder, schema browser, and SLQ editor.
- Access to different instances and schemas.
- Converts common query language to standard ANSI SQL.
- Allows multiple database connections.
- Can multiple SQLs as a multithreading operation.
- Toad for Oracle comes with features like SQL Loader and Export/Import.
- Newer programming linguistics are not recognized by the software.
A Cost-Effective and Instantly Scalable Cloud Database for both Small and Large Businesses.
Snowflake is a venture-capitalist funded software started to help balance the high-powered performance of cloud databases with cost. It lets you scale up or down instantly to find the right combination of price and features for your needs.
What makes Snowflake special? It’s the fact that they separate computing needs from data storage needs which is the opposite of what most other competitors do. Combining ends up costing you more because you’ll need to pay at the rate for your biggest workload.
This software however lets you store your data independently of your computing needs. Hence you’ll end up paying much less.
For example, if you need near real-time data loads for complex transformations, but have only a few complex queries in your reporting, Snowflake has a solution.
You can take advantage of the massive Snowflake warehouse for the data load, and scale it back down after it’s completed – all in real time.
Other unique functions of Snowflake include;
- Easy duplication of database objections like database tables using the clone feature.
- Protection against accidental deletion or data modification and software/hardware malfunction thanks to its Data Protection feature.
- Fast data processing via shared workloads on several virtual warehouses.
Snowflake offers different levels of varying custom price plans. Since it's a pay for what you use model, there are no fixed prices.
Just different levels of features with each plan namely the Standard, Enterprise, Business Central, and Virtual Private Snowflake for those who want private cloud storage. The Standard plan gives you a complete SQL data warehouse with one day of travel time.
- Separate computing needs from storage needs making it cheaper compared to similar service providers.
- Both public and private cloud storage options available.
- Supports data in multiple formats like JSON or XML.
- Added security to protect against errors and malicious threats.
- May not be able to provide advanced data insights.
20. Hadoop HDFS.
Efficient Apache Database Solution for Large Data Computation.
Designed by the Apache software company, Hadoop is a collection of open-source software utilities that facilitates using a network of many computers to solve problems involving massive amounts of data and computation.
Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) is a unique database software that is highly fault-tolerant and can handle large volumes of data with minimal error. It’s uniqueness comes from its ability to run on low-cost hardware.
It also provides a high throughput access to app data and is best suited for large data set applications. HDFS also allows optimal transfer of data between compute nodes. Initially it was made to work hand in hand with one program framework for data processing.
Some of the major features of HDFS include:
- Cheaper Operational Costs mostly due to the fact that it needs low-cost software to operate.
- Safer data replication because data is replicated over a number machines in the system’s cluster by creating duplicates. Thus if one of the machines fail or crash, data is still easy to retrieve.
- High fault tolerance thanks to the replication of data amongst many machines in the cluster preventing data loss and ready access to recent versions of data sets.
- Easy scalability because data is stored in multiple nodes per cluster. So whenever you need to store more data, simply increase the number of nodes in the cluster or the amount of CPU and storage in the cluster.
- Easy processing of large data sets because of the shared workload by multiple machines.
Hadoop is available for free download on the Hadoop website.
- Open-source and available for free download.
- Good for storing large data efficiently.
- Process terabytes of data in minutes.
- Comes with fraud protection, data warehousing and marketing campaign analysis.
- Automatically duplicates data to reduce risk of data loss or failure.
- Poor transactional and client support.
- Doesn’t work efficiently in small data environments.
21. Google BigQuery.
Serverless Cloud-based, Fast SQL Database Software.
Another cloud solution from Google, BigQuery is a great tool designed to help business intelligence plus give analytics to organizations that handle massive datasets. The platform provides super-fast SQL queries that allow you to store and query massive data sets efficiently.
The software cuts down the potential costs in acquiring hardware needed by giving access to Google’s framework resulting in an enterprise data solution that is pocket-friendly.
You can control access to both the project and your data based on your business needs paying only based on how much resources you actually use. No need to rent additional servers or resources.
Some of Google BigQuery’s powerful features include
- Serverless data warehousing. Google handles all your infrastructure management, upgrade, and maintenance needs using the power of its infrastructure to meet your physical resource needs so you can focus on analyzing your data.
- Analyze data anywhere in the cloud. BigQuery Omni (private alpha) lets you do all your standard SQL data analysis from its easy-to-use interface across the cloud. Thanks to a fully-managed and adaptable infrastructure, you’ll have a smooth data analysis experience.
- Standard SQL Support including ODBC and JDBC drivers at no extra charge.
- BigQuery Data Transfer Service. BigQuery allows inward data transfers from external sources like Google’s integrated services e.g Google Ads, YouTube, and other SaaS partner apps.
- Petabyte scalability. Google’s massive cloud means you can scale how much data you analyze without worrying about a performance dip, even if it means petabytes and exabytes.
- Geographic data control so you don’t have to worry about setting up clusters in different locations.
Google BigQuery offers multiple pricing options, from flat-rate pricing which lets you pay in advance for the exact amount of resources for query processing you’re looking to use.
For clients looking to use the service for a long-term project, there is long term use pricing which starts from 90 days and covers tabular data and partitions aren’t changed. And finally the active pricing model for those who would like to pay for on-demand resources used daily.
There is also a limited access free version called BigQuery Sandbox. The first terabyte of data is free for on-demand customers while for flat-rate and long-term clients it's the first 10GB of data per month.
- Free limited access version available.
- Multiple pricing models for all budgets.
- Easily collate correlated data streams by running SQL like queries without having to use other queries in other tools.
- Large library with tutorials and good customer support.
- Great tool to use as a repository of bulk data.
- Integrates easily with tools like Tableau and Data Studio for easy visual analysis without any code.
- Not ideal for small businesses and startups.
- Charges can pile up fast if you don't construct your queries properly or do too many queries.
- Its data analysis capabilities need SQL coding knowledge to harness.
Open Source Premise and Cloud-based solution built on MySQL.
Another popular open-source relational database, MariaDB server and MySQL were both built on the same basic principle and come from the same developers. The software owners have guaranteed it will stay free. It is the default database in most Linux based distributions.
Recently, the software was updated to include advanced clustering with Galera 4, improved compatibility with Oracle and temporal data tables, allowing data queries in real-time.
Other functionalities are
- MariaDB is licenced under GPL, LGPL, or BSD.
- A wide selection of storage engines, including high-performance storage engines, for working with other RDBMS data sources.
- Works on a number of operating systems and supports a wide variety of programming languages including PHP.
- Offers many operations and commands not found in MySQL. It eliminates/replaces features impacting performance negatively.
MariaDB offers open-source, enterprise and cloud-based database solutions. Its open-source software is available for free download on its website and is constantly updated.
For large businesses needing more complex solutions, you can contact their customer support for a quote. As it is with most cloud-based business services, you’ll pay for the service based on how much resources you use.
- Supports multiple programming languages.
- Easy to export, import and back up data in minutes.
- Supports programming languages like PHP or Python in the right environment(web).
- Works well with MySQL.
- Doesn’t need as much hardware as other platforms.
- Constantly updated software in line with new trends.
- .Large data slows down the system and makes it buggy.
- Unimpressive caching performance.
MariaDB is free to use, but has an enterprise version which you can request a custom quote for.
Try MariaDB for free today!.
Public and Private Cloud Database Solution for Bulk Data Analysis.
Formed in 2008 by a group of experienced engineers from tech giants like Google, Oracle and Facebook, Cloudera was formed to harness the power of Apache Hadoop. It is designed to be a flexible platform that allows you to analyze sophisticated data in any environment.
Hadoop on its own is a powerful data analysis software especially useful for storing, sorting and processing bulk volumes of data. Cloudera was developed to help users deploy, manage and organize data into more meaningful ways using Hadoop.
The application allows speedy analysis with full audits, lineage tracing as well as other deeper insights beyond just collating data.
Some other notable features;
- Cluster management to reduce workload.
- Rolling upgrade of CDH.
- Distributed batch process of large data sets.
- Structured for storage of large tables.
- Workflow scheduler for easy management of Hadoop tasks.
- Data warehouse briefs & ad hoc querying.
Cloudera offers affordable pricing for its cloud service. So if you’re looking to deploy data warehouses for data analysis teams or departments at $0.09 per core+ RAM (also called a Cloudera Cloud Unit or CCU).
It also offers other data management and machine learning cloud-based services for developers and big data firms like finance and healthcare institutions.
- Total and singular configuration and control of your Hadoop platform.
- Better management of a cluster as a cluster rather than an individual server.
- Easy to install on virtual machines.
- Affordable cloud-based solution.
- Ideal for large volume analysis.
- Limited support for multiple programming languages.
- Some components of the platform are privately owned and not open to public contribution.
- GUI’s are absent.
24. IBM DB2.
An A.I. Driven Database and Data Lake Enterprise Solution for Large Data.
IBM Db2 offers solutions for businesses with operational and data lake needs. If your business or organization handles large data sets and needs fast queries and processes without performance issues, IBM Db2 is made just for that.
The software is great for data scientists and organizations with large workloads. Other top features are;
- XML Support: Minimize the time and resources required to analyze and leverage their XML data.
- Task Scheduler: Better statistics collection and rearrangement of indexes and tables without the need for any user interaction.
- High Availability: It leverages ASYNC, NEARSYNC, and SYNC HADR models to keep multiple options and ensure a high uptime ratio.
- Supports Legacy Software: Approved for Support for legacy Java tools by leveraging the technology of the robust mainframe.
In terms of pricing, IBM Db2 has a free community edition that gives you all its features free if used in development. You’ll get 4 cores, 16GB RAM and a free software license for development or community environments.
The more premium Base Edition bills at $79.17/month or if you want a perpetual license, $1900. It comes with 8 cores and 64GB RAM and a free 90-day trial period.
There are more advanced versions like the Standard and Advanced versions for which custom pricing can be requested .
- Easier data sorting because of easy partitioning and automatic storage.
- Multiple cloud storage options including both private and shared cloud storage.
- Free version available
- 90-day free trial of premium versions available.
- Dedicated A.I functionality for complex data organization and management.
- Robust security with reliable performance and stability.
- Hassle-free administration through commands, including CLI (Command Line Interface). or via Control Center / Data Studio (DB2 10.x+).
- Easy data distribution and retrieval regardless of where data track is stored.
- Not beginner and non-developer friendly.
- File size is very large with bloatware and slows down download speed.
- Premium IBM support at a fee.
Cloud Database Solution for Bulk Data Storage.
Teradata is one of the first and most renowned database software brands on the market. It is known for its reliably speedy processing and data imports/exports. Its management of complex data queries efficient and makes data warehouse control relatively simple.
One thing that makes Teradata standout is that it runs on Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) Architecture which shares the processes across the entire framework reducing processing time. Any tasks given are handled efficiently via a shared workload.
Likewise, it automatically distributes data to any storage disks without needing any manual commands. That plus its robust added features for transfers within the teradata system like FastLoad, MultiLoad, FastExport and TPT make it a preferred choice among SQL databases.
Other impressive features include
- A native extension to interact with tabular stored data based on industry standard SQL.
- Impressive scalability of up to 2048 nodes.
- Flexibility to process, deploy and analyze everything from anywhere with the option to do it in the cloud or on-premises.
- Parallel data processing makes it better at data processing analysis over other software.
- Connectivity − Teradata can connect to channel-attached systems such as Mainframe or Network-attached systems.
Teradata has two pricing models, pay-as-you-go for their cloud-based database solution and a blended pricing solution for users who are budget-conscious.
The blended pricing option couples low-cost, predictable reserved compute capacity with on-demand elasticity in which you pay only for additional compute resources used or activated, plus storage.
- Fast distribution to large databases and real-time processing.
- Easy reporting tools and access for users.
- Fast load and multi-load capabilities to allow almost real-time data processing.
- Advanced data analytics for enterprise-level operations for businesses.
- It leverages well-crafted permission controls to collect and track your data.
- Third-party tools are not as responsive.
- More expensive compared to other DBS on the market.
Most Compatible, Rich SQL Open-Source Database.
PostgreSQL (pronounced as post-gress-Q-L) is an open-source relational database management system (DBMS)first in 1986 without the SQL aspect. Later in 1995, it finally started becoming the PostgreSQL we know today.
With over 30 years of constant development and improvement, PostgreSQL today is known as one of the most reliable and robust platforms of its kind.
The software is open-source meaning it’s not controlled by any one person, company or private entity. It’s source code is available free and can be modified for personal use. .
Some notable features of PostgreSQL include
- Compatible with multiple platforms of all major programming languages.
- Sophisticated locking mechanism available.
- Multi-version control support
- Mature Server-Side Programming Functionality
- ANSI SQL standard compliant.
- 100% support for client-server network architecture.
- Replication SSL based on logs and triggers.
- Standby server to ensure high data availability.
PostgreSQL is registered under a liberal open source license making it free to copy, use, share and even modify. Thus you can download the software absolutely free.
- Advanced SQL that supports a lot of SQL syntax.
- Can work with NoSQL data from MongoDB because of JSON support.
- Supports easy understanding of big queries.
- Highly compatible and works with most database tools.
- Supports multiple types of indexes, including B-trees and Genetic Algorithms based indexes for faster full-text searches.
- Ease of administering PostgreSQL, SSL and SSO support make it possible to operate a very private and secure data repository
- Slow performance due to lack of data compression.
- Slow index operations.
- Schemas are a little too intricate.
Get started with PostgreSQL for free.
What is Database Software?
Database software is a kind of application that helps you collect, manage, store, modify, look for, and find information stored in it easily.
If your business has been around for a while, you’d have collected some information on your past clients, business transactions, leads, contracts, payments, and other kinds of information. For some businesses this may be as simple as filing documents manually.
For a startup, this kind of information may not be much, but with business growth, you’ll need a better way to store and manage such data.
Initially, it’s easy to track these details using a simple spreadsheet or Microsoft Access, but as your business and clientele grow, it can get cumbersome.
This is where organizing your data with database software comes in. A database is simply a collection of information which has been structured in a particular way, say tables and stored electronically. Often, you can build your own database to meet a specific need.
Sometimes database software may be organized into a database management system. This is simply a collection of software that allows data to be stored, retrieved, manipulated and extracted from a database, usually in a specified manner.
Database management systems generally use SQL queries to communicate with a database.
Database software on the other hand helps you streamline how you collect, store and organize any kind of information related to your business.
The most common programming language used in handling and organizing data stored in a database is SQL or Structured Query Language. Often databases are made up of rows and columns which are written in this same SQL language.
Thus it makes it easy for the data professional to issue commands to the database to retrieve or modify specific information.
A database administrator or basically the person in charge of running the software issues a command which alerts the system to perform a particular action. This could be anything from retrieving to modifying existing information in the system.
A while back this meant you needed to know code to be able to use DBMS, but thankfully more and more service providers are offering beginner-friendly solutions that don’t need code to manage or use.
What is Database Software Used For?
Database software is mainly used to organize, modify and retrieve data or databases, often in a specific structure.
Because databases are often created using specific code or programming language, database software gives you an easy-to-use interface to manipulate data.
- create tables
- update existing files with new information
- move information from one part of a database to the other or
- merge folders
- create customized reports in a specific format or just access raw data.
- protect any information stored in it while making sure the data is accurate and up to date
Database software basically allows you to manage your data and organize it according to set rules or formats.
Apart from these primary functions, there are other equally important uses like providing a means for you to safely backup and recover data especially if anything goes wrong with physical copies or the equipment used to process data at an institution.
If your team does a lot of presentations to potential clients or business partners, database software simplifies the process of creating results-oriented presentations. You can quickly create reports and slides based on the exact figures which may be relevant to your clients.
For businesses with large teams and multiple departments, database software allows multiple users to access information at a time without either department seeing the information of the other.
1. Multi-user access.
For example, the sales team can have access to existing client contact details without necessarily seeing the client’s business transactions. Again, departments or teams can update the database independently of each other, which improves overall efficiency.
In line with multi-user access, is the added benefit of being able to restrict user access to some kinds of information. A database software allows you to control user permissions and grant role-based access to data where necessary.
2. Better Data Security and Storage
It’s impossible to talk about data without talking about security. Sometimes certain data may be confidential and requires more security compared to others.
Things like financial information and transactions, personal information and contact details all need added security.
Database software provides you room to securely store sensitive information away from the wrong eyes compared to a manual filing system or a simple spreadsheet.
You can have sensitive data encrypted and stored in a different path in the database limiting access and improving retrieval.
3. Cut Down Cost of Paper.
The major benefit of having a database is improved data storage. Before the advent of technology, information was printed out and manually filed in cabinets. If it was confidential, it was kept either in a safe or a locked file cabinet.
The problem was where to store the excess paper when the cabinets get full and there is no space. Another issue was archive those files properly so they could be easily found and not get damaged. Database software solves this problem.
Research shows that those in professional fields working with paper spend 50% of their time looking for documents and files.
By providing an electronic way to save and properly archive information, businesses no longer need to spend on as much paper, labor and storage for paper documents. Once the information is saved in the database, it is securely backed up and recorded, providing limitless storage.
What is a Relational Database?
Relational databases are the most popular form databases today take. They use Structured Querying Language (SQL) and are ideal for handling a wide range of transaction-based data processes and deployments.
Data in a relational database is usually tabulated, each unique table with its own row and column data. There are also relational operators used to process or modify whatever data is in the table.
In recent times, enterprise database solutions are turning more and more towards relational databases. Companies may decide to use relational database software to drive business insights and use alongside real-time web applications.
Relational databases are especially useful for complex queries and reducing time spent manually analyzing data.
What is a Non-relational Database?
Non-relational database is somewhat the opposite of a relational database. Data in it isn’t organized or tabulated but rather uses other means like graphs or documents to display data.
This kind of database is beneficial for large or bulk volume data since it can store multiple formats of data, regardless of structure.
But what you get in freedom to store multiple forms of data, demands a little more in time doing many queries to link data manually, which can be problematic.
What are the Benefits of Using Database Software?
Database software (DBS) gives its users numerous benefits especially in terms of data flexibility and management. The right database management software will improve how an organization manages, accesses and shares bulk data to whoever needs it.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits of using database software in your business.
1. Improved Data Usage Efficiency
What good is having data if your business can’t fully use it? A database that is planned and structured well helps all aspects of your business function cohesively. When your data is well-organized and arranged by database software, everyone knows where to find what.
That leads to better access to information and improved analysis of the data. Different departments will be able to tell how each process is influencing the other whether positively or negatively.
A practical application of this is planning a successful marketing campaign or better budgetary allocations for improved ROI.
2. Less Redundant Data.
When organizational data is poorly organized, it’s easy to lose track of key pieces of information that could create powerful results in a business.
Database software will help your business to keep tabs on the exact kind of information it collects and organize them appropriately.
Another challenge is reducing the risk of duplicate pieces of the same data. Standard file storage systems increase the chances of storing the same data multiple times in separate locations, which can end up cluttering the system.
Current database software eliminates this risk by pivoting a single database that is instantly updated anytime a modification is made or similar content is added. Hence the risk of duplicate data is low.
3. Better Data Security.
When you have lots of information to manage, it’s important to have a reliable system to back it up and keep it secure.
Database software makes it possible for you to have up-to-date, backed up versions of data that you can easily retrieve in case local copies get damaged.
This is made possible by cloud technology, which gives you access to multiple servers in a network across various locations. Again, cloud technology also provides an extra layer of protection against malicious attacks and cyber threats, since all your data isn’t in one place.
Also if you have sensitive or confidential information, you can use your software to restrict user access or give role-based permissions. This makes it easier to manage and control data access and flow throughout your organization.
4. Consistent and Compliant Data.
In strictly regulated industries like finance and healthcare, there are stringent protocols every institution needs to follow in terms of data storage and security for example ISO 9001 or EU MDR.
Thus it becomes almost mandatory to have database software to help implement such protocols. Using software makes it less likely that you’ll overlook implementing such rules correctly and getting penalized for the oversight.
Apart from helping to improve compliance, you’ll also need data that is consistent especially in terms of accountability and audit reports. Database software will ensure you keep timely and consistent records so you don’t struggle around tax time or auditing periods.
Another potential issue when there is a lot of information to manage is making sure it stays within the right hands. Database software helps to keep sets of data separate from each other.
This is especially critical in an organization with multiple departments handling related aspects of operations. Because you can customize your software to suit your business, you can easily create varied levels of access including different admins and password protected files.
Database software ensures that anything that is supposed to remain classified or at the managerial level stays so, without interrupting other operations.
6. Robust Data Backup and Recovery.
Most DBS today are cloud-based solutions meaning you’ll get the added advantage of cloud computing. Your data will be backed up securely on multiple remote servers at regular intervals in most instances.
Again, in case one server goes offline, you’ll still be able to access your database because of the network of computers on which your data is stored. If there is a crash or system failure you can quickly recover or restore your database to its most recent backup.
Depending on whether your software needs to be online or not, you can even access your data without needing an internet connection.
7. Quicker Data-Driven Decision Making.
In an organization that requires multiple levels of approval for processes to take place or go to completion, database software can expedite the process.
By sharing reports or presentations based on the information in the system with decision-makers, everyone will know what they need to know in order to endorse or object to a particular business decision.
This is better applied among businesses with teams working remotely on a project. Since everyone is using a unified system to share and manage data, all teams collaborating on a project can quickly access and use whatever information they need to work more efficiently.
This can lead to faster project completions, better reporting, and more accurate business presentations too.
What are the Types of Database Software?
Just as there are different programming languages, there are different kinds of databases.
Databases are classified based on how they store and analyze data. Some of the newer database software are hybrids of either one or two different types of database software.
There are generally six categories:
- analytical database software
- data warehouse database software
- distributed database software
- end-user database software
- external database software
- operational database software.
1. Analytical database software.
Analytical database software is used to store data from other databases for data analysis. This kind of software is intended for analyzing large sets of data.
Ideally, such software is intended to help retrieve and collate varied data from multiple databases for the purposes of examining it.
The data in an analytical database software is edited, modified, processed to be used by data departments or whichever department of a business needs it.
Businesses worldwide use analytical database software to quantitatively assess key metrics related to business growth and performance. An example is SPSS.
2. Data warehouse software.
For companies that handle bulk data often, this kind of software pulls key data from several different databases and collates them in one location.
It is a central repository of data from multiple unique sources intended for big data analytic software processing.
The aim is to derive and report any important insights. Data warehousing helps to ensure data integrity by readily identifying inconsistencies, trends, and potential relationships between data sets.
3. Distributed database software.
A distributed database is a set of databases stored on multiple computers that typically is accessed or viewed as a single database.
Consequently, an application can simultaneously access and modify the data in several databases in a network from one access point.
Distributed database software or distributed database management systems are the applications that are used to manage, organize, and retrieve information from distributed databases.
For companies with multiple remote locations and unique databases for each of their headquarters, a distributed database software provides a centralized database management system.
It controls information stored in a variety of locations (including cloud, an internal LAN, or a network server). IBM Db2 is an example of distributed database software.
4. End-User database software.
End-user database software is simply software that is designed specifically to help a single user store and manage data. Any database software which allows the end-user to create and manage data comes under this category.
This kind of software is usually used to store data intended for a single user meaning there is no option for multiple users to access the data at the same time. Likewise, any modifications or database updates can only be done by a single user.
(Microsoft Access and its spreadsheets are an example).
5. External database software.
External Database software is software that allows multiple individuals or organizations to access, manage, add, and modify information to it. The software may be available via subscription or for free.
They are often accessed online by users to read privately-owned data. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is a good example of an external database.
This kind of database software is used mainly to compile data that must be accessed by a variety of users, often via the Internet.
6. Operational database software.
Also called OLTP (On-Line Transaction Processing ) database software, it's used to manage constantly changing data in real-time.
You can add, delete, and modify the data in your database on an ongoing basis. Businesses like banks, financial institutions, and customer-based businesses benefit fit most from such databases.
An operational database allows you to gather, enter, and retrieve large amounts of data– be it specific or general, for example, legal notices, financial data, personal employee information, call logs and more. They can also be part of the purchasing process for an e-commerce business.
How Do I Choose the Right Database Software
With so many database software options to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. Do you choose SQL or NoSQL database software? Open-source or commercial?
A number of companies may rotate between several database software before settling on one which works for them. That can quickly become a waste of time and/or money.
By keeping your unique needs, experience and business in mind, you will be better equipped to choose what is right for your business.
1. Keep Business goals in mind.
What need is fueling your hunt for database software? Perhaps you want to provide a better way to organize large volumes of organizational data in an easily visible way. Or simply want to help your team of developers with a standardized database backend.
Once you know what your end goal is for getting the software, you can narrow down your options based on what efficiency metrics you are looking to improve. This also will help you request for a better custom solution when talking to software sales teams.
2. Have an idea of your workload and computing needs.
Usually each database software is designed with a specific kind of end goal in mind. Most database software charge more to provide higher processing capacity, storage or user access. For example, MySQL offers JSON storage and Teradata is designed for large data volumes
Knowing your expected usage and computing needs will help you choose the best option that’s a combination of price and computing power. A common mistake is not using the right kind of software for the right tasks especially since most software can handle basic tasks comfortably.
What now happens is once the data increases or the workload grows, you’ll begin to experience glitches and bottlenecks that can only be solved using another tool.
For example, if you want a data warehouse, then a cloud-based, multi-language platform Cloudera like is a good option.
3. Start Basic.
Database software has evolved from open-source, unstable and clumsy pieces of software to refined, efficient powerhouses with entire developer communities built around them.
However the more complex and ‘powerful’ a software is, the more costly and difficult it is to set-up and manage. So if you’re truly unsure where to start from in your database hunt, then start with the most basic versions of your preferred software and upgrade.
4. Speak to the Experts.
The truth is, if you’re not a developer or know code, you simply may not be able to help it. Developer jargon can be a mouthful and difficult to understand. In this case, having a rough idea of what you’ll need your database to do for you is a good place to start.
Take advantage of customer care consultants, live chats and developer forums or communities. Since you already have a rough idea of what you need, the right advice will point you in the right direction.
That may be going for a free trial or version to experiment with or simply requesting custom modifications to a standard software may be all you need.
Neutral third party opinions like review websites and forums will help you better understand which software will best suit your needs.
Database Software FAQs
Anyone who needs to manage, modify or organize large volumes of data at a time can benefit from database software.
This may be businesses or organizations that handle high volume data transactions like airlines, financial institutions or finance-based businesses, healthcare and education companies.
It is also useful for data scientists, web developers, IT engineers and businesses involved in machine learning. As long as you handle a lot of data consistently, you could benefit from database software. If you’re not tech-inclined, solutions like Knack are ideal.
While many managers and business owners swear by how useful Excel is in managing data, it is not a database or database software for that matter. Excel functions great as a spreadsheet application. It is designed to be the digital version of accounting worksheets.
It will complement a database well since it makes it easy to create charts and visually appealing reports based on entered data.
Both spreadsheets and databases are used in handling large volumes of tabulated data and can be used for calculations. The difference lies in how the data is stored and accessed. With spreadsheets, every cell is treated as a unique entity. It can store any type of information.
Databases on the other hand only allow raw data to be stored in a cell.
Again, In a spreadsheet, data can be stored in cells, while in a database, data is stored in a record of a table, meaning you must count the records in a table to see how long the data table is, not the number of the cells.
Many NoSQL databases have popped up in recent years, offering performance, scalability, and flexibility needed in any modern application. MongoDB is one of such platforms and is still quite new to judge life or death .
Like it is the case with any technology, MongoDB has its own pros, cons and software bugs, most which will hopefully be made up for in subsequent software updates. Nonetheless, if used well you can leverage the benefits of MongoDB to your advantage.
Use Database Software to Turn Your Data into Deep Business Insights
Whether you run an online marketplace, finance-based business or large organization, database software will take the stress out of keeping your data up to date, organized and useful.
Using database software ensures your data is kept secure, safe and readily accessible. You also get real-time analytics which can help especially when you're running marketing campaigns or creating a new product.
While most software need some level of coding knowledge, a few solutions like Knack offer simple, easy-to-use interfaces that make sense to the non-tech inclined.
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