The most important thing in a company is not a building or furniture or anything like that: what is essential in a business is data, and information. With the information, it is possible to create strategies, execute plans and increase the productivity of a company. Hence the importance of taking care of that data and handling it in the correct way through an efficient database.
For this reason, the choice of a database is fundamental, since the company's information is secure and, furthermore, that access to it is easy and does not generate long-term problems depends on it. If it happens, for example, that you choose a database that in the end was not the correct one, that can trigger not only problems with the data, but also lead to a risky migration process.
In the technology industry there is a wide range of databases. Among so many options, we may lose sight of the most important aspects of each of these options, so it is important to analyze them carefully.
According to the report made by Stackoverflow in 2021, the database most used by companies was MySQL, representing 50.18% of the sample of people surveyed. In this same top 15 most used databases is also Oracle. And, although Access does not appear in this ranking, it is also worth mentioning.
Now we are going to talk about each of these databases, their benefits and what their main characteristics are.
When we talk about MySQL, we mean the most popular open source SQL database system in the world. It is developed, distributed and supported by Oracle Corporation, it can be read on the MySQL website.
MySQL is a relational database and this means that it “stores data in separate tables instead of putting all the data in one big store”, detailed on the MySQL developer website.
“Database structures are organized into physical files optimized for speed. The logical model, with objects such as databases, tables, views, rows, and columns, offers a flexible programming environment. Set up rules that govern relationships between different data fields, such as one-to-one, one-to-many, unique, required, or optional, and "pointers" between different tables. The database enforces these rules, so with a well-designed database, your application never sees inconsistent, duplicate, orphaned, out-of-date, or missing data", experts detailed in the article.
MySQL software is open source
How does this benefit your company? This makes MySQL very flexible, since you can modify the source code and adapt it to the needs of your company.
MySQL database server is fast, reliable and scalable
“MySQL Server can comfortably run on a desktop or laptop, alongside other applications, web servers, etc., that require little or no attention. If you dedicate an entire machine to MySQL, you can adjust the configuration to take advantage of all available memory, CPU power, and I/O capacity. MySQL can also scale to groups of networked machines”, they explained on their official website.
There is a lot of contributed MySQL software available
“MySQL Server has a practical set of features developed in close collaboration with our users. It is very likely that your favorite application or language is supported by the MySQL database server,” they added.
Oracle has created a vast catalog of digital solutions that are very useful for companies today, especially a flawless database system.
“Oracle Database is the first database designed for enterprise grid computing, the most flexible and cost-effective way to manage information and applications. Enterprise grid computing creates large storage pools and industry-standard modular servers. With this architecture, each new system can be rapidly provisioned from the pool of components. There is no need for peak workloads, because capacity can be easily added or reassigned from resource pools as needed", they explained in the website.
It has excellent scalability and performance
“Features like Real Application Clustering and Portability make an Oracle Database scalable based on usage. In a multi-user database, it is necessary to control the consistency and concurrency of the data contemplated by Oracle”, they detailed in this regard in an Educba article.
Guaranteed data availability
It offers high availability of data, available both during downtime and planned and unplanned failures.
Backup and recovery
Oracle Database is designed to recover data from almost any type of failure. It recovers in a short time, guaranteeing high data availability.
For Oracle Database, security is paramount, which is why it provides companies with mechanisms to control the access and use of data.
It is the database system option offered by Microsoft, ideal if companies need an intuitive and easy-to-use system for the entire team.
“Access is an easy-to-use tool for building business applications from templates or from scratch. With its intuitive and comprehensive design tools, Access can help you create attractive and highly functional applications in a minimum amount of time", Access explained.
One of the most attractive aspects of Access is that you can integrate data between Access and other applications. Easily store data in SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL to enable long-term reliability, security, scalability, and manageability.
There are a series of criteria that you must apply when choosing the right database for your business. This is what Natan Silnitsky recommends considering in a WIX Engineering article.
How complex are your query patterns?
This is one of the fundamental aspects to evaluate according to this developer, since this refers to the way in which the data can be obtained. You have to determine if you're going to get the data by key, if you need to query across many different fields, or if you need to do fuzzy, free-text searches. When you decide what your query pattern will be, you can choose a certain database that fits that.
Do you need a solid consistency or a final consistency?
“In case you need to read your data right after you write it (i.e. strong consistency), a relational database is often more suitable than a document database, especially in the case of multiple data,” they explained at WIX. Engineering.
How much storage capacity is needed?
There are database systems that are limited by physical disk space, but if you need unlimited storage, you can also consider cloud options. Everything will depend on the storage space that your company needs.
What is the required throughput and latency?
“The performance of all databases degrades as the amount of read/write throughput traffic increases. This is the time when optimizations like reindexing and sharding your data come in handy,” added Natan, the author of the WIX article.
Does your team have experience with the database you plan to choose?
Before choosing a database, make sure that your team has experience in that technology, since setting up a database is a process that requires a lot of expertise and experience.
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