Technological advancements are shaping the relationship between customers and product owners. In any business, customer experience is often the priority. Many businesses are now depending on mobile and web apps to capture the attention of the target market and maximize productivity. However, you can apply the best tech stack, use enhanced code quality, and create a captivating UI/UX design but still fail to get the anticipated results. The issue is the kind of database you are using. The database you use to build your apps can either scale your business higher or impact the business negatively.
Therefore, in web apps, you shouldn’t ignore the need to manage databases effectively. With a good database platform, you can organize and store data appropriately, ensuring you can retrieve data with ease for processing, especially when responding to user requirements.
Besides, databases enhance the security of confidential business data, especially for big enterprises that process large volumes of data more frequently. So, to ensure an application is reliable, fast, and secure, it is essential to select the appropriate database for a specific function. Since there are varied databases available in the market, it can be hard to determine the most effective database solution for a specific app. That is why, in this guide, we walk you through everything you need to know about databases.
What is a database?
A database is a cloud system of a specific location on the computer where you can collect and organize information about an app. In web apps, database management is achieved through DBMS – database management systems. Database servers, therefore, help in performing the functions as highlighted below:
- Showing refreshed data
- Creating, updating, keeping, and managing data
- Executing queries
- Estimating quantitative data
- Restricting data access based on a given algorithm
Different types of databases for web apps
Based on the dynamics and features of a web app development process, it is essential for developers to select a database that is compatible with the web application in process. Since there are many databases for mobile and web applications, below are the four major types of database options you can choose from, depending on the dynamics of your business.
Relational Databases – SQL
Better known as structured query language (SQL), these are database management systems that keep data in the form of a table or tables, with each table having columns and rows, where tables represent entities such as products, orders, or customers. Rows and columns, on the other hand, represent attributes of the entities such as price, numbers, and names.
With the SQL database, developers can connect and extract data across different tables to enhance the efficiency of the processes.
Non-relational Databases – NoSQL database
The NoSQL database system is the exact opposite of the SQL database system. This database system for web apps stores unstructured data in varied forms. Therefore, these forms of databases are ideal for software solutions that keep on changing with large volumes of data.
These databases are designed specifically for object-oriented concepts in programming languages like Python and Java. Here, data is stored as objects which have varied attributes.
Just like the name, these databases rely on the computer memory storage data instead of SSDs or disks. This, therefore, means that these databases are ideal for apps that require real-time data processing. While the in-memory databases are expensive, there is reduced latency and improved speed when compared to database systems that rely on disks.
Functions of database management systems
In a business environment, the viability of a database system depends on its ability to scale the business to the next level. Among the core functions of databases in a business setting include the following:
A business can store and manage large volumes of data in an orderly manner with the help of a database management system.
Databases are equipped with reporting tools and SQL queries. These tools help businesses access and extract information as required.
The database provides accurate transaction processes and data validation by ensuring consistency in data flow, thus promoting data integrity.
A database management system helps businesses protect their sensitive data from unwanted access. The system is equipped with backup and recovery options, ensuring no unauthorized persons can access private and confidential information.
During the app development processes, a business can add more hardware resources to scale the apps higher.
Through a database management system, businesses can share data across systems and departments to enhance efficiency in operations.
Best database for web applications
Having the basics of databases, including their uses in a business environment, let’s look at the top database picks for web apps below.
Being among the most popular databases, MySQL is developed and maintained by Oracle. It is an open-source database management system, and it is an ideal option for web apps.
MySQL has many features and often has regular version updates to enhance its performance. It is built with C and C++and it has a security layer to protect confidential data from unauthorized access. One advantage of MySQL is that it offers cross-platform web app solutions.
Among the biggest brands using MySQL include Verizon, Twitter, and Facebook. If you are building custom web apps with Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, then MySQL is the ultimate database management system you should choose.
This is an SQL-based relational database management system used in web and mobile app development processes. It is an open-source database management system that is easy to learn and use.
The wide range of features enables PostgreSQL to handle many requirements at a go. Among the popular languages supported by PostgreSQL include C++, C #, Python, Ruby, and Java, among many others.
While it is effective for businesses that deal with large volumes of data, PostgreSQL is commonly used in domain registrations, database automation tools, and varied gaming applications.
Written in C, SQLite is yet another open-source relational database management system that comes with most computers and mobile phones. This makes it easy to embed SQLite in apps.
This database management system comes with an API, making it easy to use even with junior developers. It has the capability of supporting terabyte databases.
This is a document-oriented and open-source database management system based on the NoSQL model. You won’t need any other applications to manage document data with MongoDB. Besides, it is easy to use and control data. As a developer using MongoDB, you can easily create varied databases with different fields and data structures.
While MongoDB is compatible with several programming languages and application development platforms, it is easy to learn and use, making it the best option when creating horizontally scaling applications that require high availability.
Microsoft SQL Server
This database management system is based on SQL language. It’s available in different versions, with each version having unique features.
MS SQL Server is best for breaking down data silos to give useful details that can help in enhancing the app. This makes it ideal for applications dealing with analytics, business intelligence, and transactional processing.
What’s more, MS SQL Server offers impressive security and verification features, thus enhancing comprehensive app development.
Better known as a Remote Server, Redis is an open-source database management system that supports varied data structures, including streams, maps, bitmaps, strings, and lists, among many others.
While it acts like a cache, too, this database can perform streaming engine tasks and be used as a message broker.
In most cases, MariaDB can be used in place of MySQL Servers since it is compatible with MySQL. Since this database management system gives developers columnar storage, it has a wide range of benefits for specific data sets. Any developer can easily use MariaDB, especially when handling large sets of data with petabytes.
While it is built by a large community, the developers are always available to resolve issues should new developers experience any form of challenges.
Apparently, Oracle is among the databases that are used more often because it supports all forms of data: graph, unstructured, and structured data.
This database is built to support C++, C, and Java, making it highly scalable, flexible, and faster processing when compared with other databases.
Therefore, if you are looking for a database that will optimize costs without interfering with performance, oracle is the way to go.
Firebase is one popular NoSQL database management system. It has security rules, client libraries, and a support platform for online processes, making it ideal for mobile and web app development.
While Firebase is ideal for creating real-time applications such as trading, chatting, and gaming applications, it is compatible with several devices.
Cassandra is an open-source NoSQL database that is highly scalable. Apparently, Reddit, Netflix, and Uber, among many others, are the top brands that use the Cassandra database management system.
As a developer, you will love Cassandra because of the low maintenance costs, its ability to replicate across varied data centers and fault tolerance.
Elastic Search is yet another open-source database web app development system. Wikipedia and GitHub are solid examples that use Elastic Search because it’s highly scalable, fast, enhanced performance, and easy to use.
While it is built on the Apache Lucene search library, you can easily integrate Elastic Search with other programming languages.
The key features of Elastic Search are the ability to facilitate varied data handling functions, it is document-oriented, and it is schema-less.
The fact that Elastic Search is scheme-free and can handle large volumes of data enhances the creation of columns in rows.
Written in Java, DynamoDB is a highly scalable and high-performance NoSQL database that can be used along with other tools associated with AWS, such as CloudFront and Lambda. This database is also known as Amazon DynamoDB, and that is why it is associated with AWS tools.
With DynamoDB, you will get security measures, support documents for data structures, in-memory caching, constant latency, and key values. Dropbox, Samsung, and Zoom are among the biggest brands using the DynamoDB database.
Choosing the right database will enhance the growth of your business. Sometimes, you may have a hard time determining the best database for your web app development project. You can always consult us for the best options and the processes to follow. The list of all databases included in this guide are among the best databases you can use across different web app development.
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