Best 5 SQL Databases To Use

Best 5 SQL Databases To Use

In today’s world of internet businesses, data is king. To provide the users with the exact product and content you need to store their preferences, likes, and dislikes and keep track of the user, so for that, you need a database. Now there are lots of options available for you to explore and it can be quite overwhelming for you to choose between them. So, in this article, we will provide you with the complete details of five of the best SQL databases out there for you to choose an appropriate database for your next project.  

SQL

SQL or structured query language is the standard language used to access, add, update and delete data from a database. All RDBMS(relational database management systems) use SQL as their standard language. SQL is easy and very intuitive to work with as writing SQL commands feels the same as writing English. Because of its beginner-friendly nature and high use, it very early became the standard.

Learn more about SQL and how to work with it here.

There are a large number of databases out there that are based on SQL. And out of those, these are my top 5 recommendations.

MySQL

MySQL is an SQL-based, open-source, free, and easy-to-use relational database system. Created by a Swedish company and later acquired by Oracle, MySQL is the most popular database out there. It is developed in C/C++ and uses simple and easy syntax to perform its CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) operations.

It’s very beginner friendly to work with. Fast and reliable to use and can be used in any type of project irrespective of its size. Also provides high scalability for your projects. 

Pros

  • Fast and reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Beginner friendly 
  • Very flexible, supporting different kinds of projects
  • Provides scalability as can handle more than 50 million rows to store data
  • Free to download, so it can be used 
  • Open source and has big and supportive community support to help you out
  • Allows transaction to roll back i.e. to remove all modifications made to data from the start of your transactions to a corresponding save point
  • Different clients can access data from one server

Cons

  • Not very efficient with very big datasets
  • Earlier MySQL was fully open source but after getting acquired by oracle, now it has some of the modules closed to the public, and its community-driven development has decreased
  • Not very reliable and stable for very big and complex databases
  • Difficult to debug and maintain as scale increases 
  • Not ACID(Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliant in standard form

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is a free and open-source Object-Relational Database Management System(ORDBMS). 

More about ORDBMS here

It is completely open source, is built by a community of volunteers, and is not under any firm or corporation.

In 1986, PostgreSQL was started at the University of California, Berkeley by a computer science professor named Michael Stonebraker. At that time, it was named Postgres and was an update of an older database named Ingres also made at UC Berkeley.

Initially, PostgreSQL was only compatible with UNIX-like operating systems but eventually, it added support for all the major operating systems out there like windows, mac-OS, etc. It supports data in both relations and non-relational formats and uses SQL and JSON respectively. 

Pros

  • Completely open source and community-driven. Anyone can avail of its open-source license and make changes to it
  • Has support for JSON that allows it to work with other NoSql databases
  • It is easy to use and has a beginner-friendly learning curve
  • Runs on all major operating systems
  • Easy to Troubleshoot
  • Along with the primitive ones, it also allows users to define their own data types
  • Has PostGIS which is an extension of PostgreSQL that adds support for location and geography-based data objects
  • PostgreSQL in O-RDBMS, so it supports objects, inheritance, functions, etc
  • Is cross-platform
  • ACID compliant

Cons

  • Is not supported by many open-source applications in the market
  • Lacks performance in certain situations
  • Not very popular
  • Provides no data compression which affects space and performance for large data sets
  • Data in the table is stored with respect to the rows not the columns like most databases
  • Due to it being open source, it is not very reliable

MariaDB

It is another free, community-driven, and open-source Relational Database Management System. It has a community service that is run and maintained by a community of volunteers and is free, forever. And in addition to that, it has some commercially built extensions that are released under a license(Business Software License) and so are paid.

It is very similar to MySQL and in fact, a fork of MySQL and it is made sure that all the new releases of MySQL and MariaDB are compatible with each other. It was created by the top developers of MySQL, who were responsible for its development, as a response to the acquisition of MySQL by a corporate (oracle).

This database is used for a lot of purposes like- data warehousing, logging applications, etc. It will very adequately enable you to meet all of your workloads and it will make it easier for you to do so. It is well-documented, so you can search for anything easily online.

Pros

  • Fork of MySQL and an improved version
  • Great performance and highly optimized
  • Fully open source
  • Has 12 storage engines
  • Supports JSON
  • Has Backward Compatibility, i.e. the newer and the older versions of the database are compatible with each other
  • Capable of supporting a large number of connections with good stability
  • It is easy and safe to replicate

Cons

  • Caching is not optimized and can be slower sometimes
  • The support system is expensive
  • Switching from MySQL to MariaDB is easy, but not the other way round
  • Still a very new product in the market

Oracle

Oracle is an M-DBMS or Multi-Model Database Management System, owned by the Oracle organization, the company that acquired MySQL. In 1977, The database was built by an American organization Software Development Laboratories(SDL), by Larry Ellison and his friends, Bob Miner and Ed Oates. In 1983, Oracle version 3 was released, which was the first commercial database. It was able to run on all PCs and hardware with C compiler compatibility. 

Oracle is one of the oldest Database Management Systems in the market. And is used majorly for commercial and enterprise use. Oracle database is majorly suited for big, complicated, or commercial projects and not very suitable and cost-effective for small and mid-sized projects. Try other beginner-friendly and free alternatives for that. 

Pros

  • Provides scalability, performance, stability, security, and functionality 
  • Allows you to combine multiple different databases into one, or fewer server
  • Can change your cloud size every day, so useful for days when traffic is exceptionally high or low and you can size the cloud accordingly
  • Query execution time is lower than other competitors out there
  • Has different editions for different types of users and if you want to switch between editions then the process is very easy and seamless
  • The backup and recovery process is reliable and fast
  • The feature to combine databases allows it to be highly scalable without overburdening any one server

Cons

  • Oracle is costly for projects that are not small-scale and can add up to a lot more than MySQL databases.
  • Not very beginner-friendly and hard to learn
  • As the database is very complex, so not recommended for beginner/small scaled projects
  • Documentation is not up to the mark

SQLite

It is a database library written in C language. SQLite is a free, open-source, and serverless database engine. Dwayne Richard Hipp in the year 2000, while working for the United States Navy. SQLite is easy to learn and set up lightweight and is a perfect database for starter, small-sized projects. But is not recommended for large-scale and complicated projects.

Pros

  • It is very lightweight compared to the others on the list
  • Very easy setup process as it does not require any kind of installation, one just needs to download the library files, and does not require any configurations to run
  • Auto-save and auto-updates your data frequently, in very short time intervals, and hence reduces the chance of your data being lost due to crashes or failure
  • It is serverless
  • Very beginner friendly to learn and deploy
  • Queries used are short and straightforward so the changes of bugs and errors are very less
  • Loads certain parts of data that are needed rather than the whole storage and hence is faster than other competitors in the market

Cons

  • Since it is serverless it is limited to one system only and has no network access. Similarly, does not allow remote access to it
  • Restricted database size, only limited to 2 GB so is not very scalable
  • Good for only small and mid-sized projects, not for large complicated ones
  • Has no in-built encryption techniques
  • Can not handle a large number of HTTP requests
  • Lacks in its security features and user management

Conclusion

There are a number of databases put there for you to choose from, in this article we looked deeply into the five SQL-based alternatives you can try. Hope This article will help you find the best database for your next project.

Happy coding! 

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