Alex Williams  —

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Handling the technicalities related to data has always been a challenging task for every business whether small or large. But the support of a good database management system can take half of your tension.

Database suits like SQL Server and Oracle have dominated the world for long. But now the number of open source database software has grown at a faster pace concerning their importance and maturity. More and more companies are now adopting open-source databases for large operations. Below we’ve prepared a list of top 10 best databases that you can use to build or improve your solutions.

1. MariaDB

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MariaDB is developed by the originators of MySQL and it is one of the most popular open-source database servers.

Being an open-source database, the tool is completely free to use. You can download the software on your laptop or desktop to get started with.

MariaDB also offers a commercial version on the subscription that includes complementary products, migration services, remote management and a set of training.

Key features of MariaDB:

  • Open-source and free – Since no corporate entity is controlling it, you can be free of any predatory licensing or other related worries.
  • It meets specialized needs by offering various storage engine options such as multiple storage engines and parallel data replication including MyRocks, Cassandra, Aria and ColumnStore.
  • For different rows, there are dynamic columns in a table.
  • It supports a wide range of programming languages and runs on most of the operating systems.
  • Replication capabilities are better.
  • Many JSON and GIS functions supported by the latest version.

Pros

  • The open-source community of MariaDB has a lot of active members rolling out regular patches and updates of MariaDB.

Cons

  • Graphical User Interface is lacking in this tool. So, the tool can only be operated through the command line.
  • The tool doesn’t support any mobile app.

Most suitable for:

MariaDB is most suitable for teams and freelancers with knowledge of querying language and programming skills.

2. PostgreSQL

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PostgreSQL is an open-source relational database that has features like data export/import, data indexing, version control and user configuration settings. It’s completely free and not owned by any organization. It allows for creating NoSQL databases with JSON and Python programming languages.

This enterprise-class DBMS is an ideal database management system for the financial industry. Also, it’s completely ACID compliant, making it a perfect choice for online transaction processing. In addition to the financial industry, PostgreSQL is used in Govt. GIS data, web technology, scientific data collection, manufacturing, and NoSQL.

Key features of PostgreSQL:

  • It protects the data integrity of administrators by helping them to build a fault-tolerant environment.
  • It helps the developers to build and develop applications.
  • In-built data types for Range, Array, Geolocation, UUID, etc.
  • The tool offers an advanced locking mechanism.
  • Native support for storage of documents, XML and Hstore.
  • MVCC (multi-version concurrency control) support
  • Supports client/server network model
  • Scriptable in Python, Perl, PL and more
  • It supports geographic objects
  • Compatible with ANSI-SQL2008

Pros

  • The tool has several plugins already built by its large open source community for improving the functionalities.

Cons

  • It’s a time-taking process to install and configure the PostgreSQL solution.
  • No mobile app is offered by the solution.

Most suitable for:

PostgreSQL is suitable for businesses looking for a relational database with NoSQL data storage capabilities to avoid any data scaling issues.

3. MongoDB

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MongoDB is an open-source document-oriented database used for the storage of high volume data. MongoDB is a NoSQL database written in C++ and offering more flexibility. Since MongoDB is a document-based database, it stores the data in chunks and the related data are clumped there in the same chunk.

Unlike other NoSQL databases and other relational databases, MongoDB’s data model is flexible, making it easy to change or add fields without causing any prominent impact on the application. Also, it’s easy to get started with and learn which makes it one of the most popular databases.

Key features of MongoDB:

  • Extremely simple clustering and sharding. Just set up the cluster configuration and forget it.
  • It provides high-performance, automatic scaling (sharding) and high availability (replication).
  • MongoDB supports range queries, field and regular expression searches.
  • Removing or adding a node from the cluster is simple.
  • Represents data in BSON or JSON
  • Supports location-based data (geospatial data).
  • Cloud distributions like Microsoft, AWS, SoftLayer, dotCloud and RedHat, etc.

Pros

  • No complex joins
  • Heterogeneous data
  • As powerful as SQL

Cons

  • Not strongly ACID-compliant
  • No function or stored procedure to bind the logic.
  • Not suitable for highly transactional systems where the upfront data model is designed.

Most suitable for:

MongoDB is suitable for big data projects such as eCommerce business for product catalog, maintaining geospatial data, blogs and content management, configuration management, real-time analytics, social networking sites and high-speed logging and caching.

4. Airtable

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This cloud-based database software has features like user permissions for database management, data tables for displaying and capturing information, file storage capability and file sharing functionality with tracking of document history.

The tools offered by Airtable can be used to track and manage tasks using Kanban dashboard, spreadsheets and in-built calendars.

The free plan of Airtable allows unlimited data tables, 2 GB of file attachments, 1200 records capacity per base, and up to a maximum of 2 weeks of snapshot history and revision.

Key features of Airtable:

  • It stores data in spreadsheet-style which makes it easy to use and visually appealing.
  • The powerful database can be used by businesses for CRM, inventory tracking, project planning and task management.
  • The tables are shareable and the changes done by the users can be tracked with time.
  • Include images, links, file attachments, and checklists to any other Airtable data.
  • Collaborate with your team on data through comments.
  • Built-in form builder for easy adding of data
  • It integrates with services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and Box.
  • Android and iOS apps available

Pros

  • The pre-built database templates designed for various business requirements such as bug tracking, applicant tracking and lead management make it easy to get started with.

Cons

  • The functionality of the relational database is limited, thus linking the records present in multiple tables is difficult.

Most suitable for:

Airtable is suitable for a small team with limited or less programming skills who like software that makes it easy to modify, add or delete data.

5. QunitaDB

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QuintaDB is a relational database solution for creating online databases and web forms. You can create unlimited forms using QuintaDB and link them with Relationships for creating your online relational database application. You can customize the forms and integrate in your blog or website. Also, you can restrict user access to your database using database roles.

The free version of QunitaDB allows creating up to 5 forms, up to 1000 records in the database and up to 500MB of storing/sharing files.

Key features of QunitaDB:

  • Data replication.
  • Data export as Excel or PDF and data import for CSV or Excel.
  • Backup and recovery of data.
  • Access controls and permission setup.
  • Accounts payable and receivable.
  • Easy to integrate with other programs using the service API.
  • Contact management.
  • Drag and drop interface.
  • Duplicate detection.
  • SMS integration and email notifications.
  • Project management.
  • Supports multiple programming languages.
  • Chart building and reporting.

Pros

  • There is flexibility in configuring user permissions, thus allowing the users to use the database collaboratively with multiple members and different access rights.

Cons

  • The tool offers a limited number of pre-built web forms and database templates which make it time-consuming to design custom tables using their CSS.

Most suitable for:

QunitaDB is most suitable for SMEs, startups and teams that need easy-to-set user permission, allowing many users to change and review the data.

6. Sonadier

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Sonadier is a cloud-based application platform for the creation of databases and forms. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to generate forms and also edit the existing forms. It comes with features such as sharing user data permissions for access control, import/export data, data versioning and file management.

The free plan of Sonadier allows the storage of files and creation of forms for up to 10000 submissions and 5 users. Adding more than 5 users and the advanced features such as custom domains, custom groups, submission, version history and single sign-on are available on upgrade.

Key features of Sonadier:

  • Data import and export option available
  • Database integration
  • Automatic backup
  • Options to customize forms and fields.
  • Data synchronization
  • Barcode scanning
  • Service API to integrate with other software.
  • Group and user-based permissions to make changes and access the database.
  • User accounts
  • Advanced field-based search possible
  • Customer contact details sync with company database and forms for auto-filling of forms.
  • System audit reporting
  • Submission versioning

Pros

  • The clean interface makes it quick and simple to create databases and digital forms.
  • Various plans available to suit every business needs

Cons

  • Delayed response time by customer support for bug fixing requests.

Most suitable for:

Sonadier solution is most suitable for small to mid-size businesses and teams that need an easy-to-use and simple tool for creating web forms and databases.

7. Redis

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Redis is an open-source, in-memory storage data structure used as a database, message broker or caching layer. The data structures supported by Redis are lists, hashes, strings, sets, hyperloglogs, bitmaps, sorted sets, geospatial index with streams and radium queries.

As Redis offers a structured way to store the data in memory, so it’s faster as compared to those traditional databases that write to disk.

Key features of Redis:

  • Redis makes a popular choice for leaderboards, caching, real-time analytics, chat/messaging, geospatial, media streaming, ride-hailing, pub/sub apps and gaming.
  • High-availability and scalability
  • It’s completely on RAM making faster reads and writes
  • Versatile data structure
  • Lua scripting
  • Cluster support
  • On-disk persistence
  • A wide variety of data types are supported by Redis.

Pros

  • Offers a rich set of features
  • Sub-millisecond responses
  • It takes just a few minutes to learn this database and get started with it.

Cons

  • No query language or joins

Most suitable for:

Redis is the best choice if your project could benefit from caching or some distributed components are there.

8. Neo4j

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Neo4j is a graph type database management system that offers a wide range of integration possibilities for Java Developers. It’s fully ACID compliant and one of the most popular transactional graph databases with native graph processing and storage.

Key features of Neo4j:

  • Neo4j supports full ACID properties and properties of a graph data model.
  • Safety and reliability of data replication
  • It supports the export of query data in JSON and XLS format.
  • It offers built-in web-based applications to create your graph data and retrieve it.
  • Semi-structured data is easily represented by Neo4j
  • It offers scalability by increasing the number of writes and reads.
  • Neo4j eliminates the need for using complex queries by facilitating Cypher Query Language (CQL) to create or retrieve data relations.

Pros

  • Node relationship queries are very fast
  • Multiple dimensions can be represented

Cons

  • Inappropriate for accounting records or transactional information where record relationships are simpler

Most suitable for:

Neo4j is most suitable to find data relationships and extract the true value of the data. It is helpful for large companies that need scalable and high-performance applications using a large connected data volume.

9. SQLite

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SQLite is an open-source relational database management system contained in the C programming library. The word ‘lite’ represents its lightweight nature for database administration, essential source and setup.

Being a self-contained SQL database system, it can easily handle all types of data. It’s because it directly integrates with the application without requiring it to install somewhere and connecting it with your app.

Key features of SQLite:

  • Serverless system with Zero configuration requirements – No need to install or setup SQLite before using. Just a simple download allows access to the software.
  • Cross-platform file formats are supported
  • The source code of SQLite is designed to access and read by average level programmers.
  • It is compatible to be used with the majority of the programming languages.
  • The content is continuously updated by SQLite so less or no work is lost in case there is a crash or power failure.
  • Being a lightweight database, it can be easily used as embedded software with mobile phones, cameras, TV, home electronics, etc.
  • It loads only the required data rather than reading and holding the entire file in the memory.

Pros

  • Compact software. In just less than 500 KiB the entire library is optimized.
  • Since its file-based system, it’s very portable.

Cons

  • It can handle low and medium traffic HTTP requests and can’t handle large scale applications.
  • The size of the database is restricted to 2 GB in most cases.

Most suitable for:

SQLite is suitable for businesses and teams that don’t require a full set of features such as user permission etc. It is best suited for small-scale testing and development purposes.

10. Cassandra

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Apache Cassandra is an open-source, NoSQL and free database management system that can handle a large amount of structured data without any point of failure. If you need high-availability and scalability without compromising on the performance then Cassandra is the ultimate choice.

Key features of SQLite:

  • Blazing fast writes – Cassandra is one of the fastest databases when it comes to heavy write loads.
  • It allows you to add as many nodes as you want to a cluster with no increase in brittleness or complexity of the cluster.
  • Multi data center replication
  • It offers horizontal scaling
  • Transaction support
  • Fault-tolerant
  • Easy data distribution

Pros

  • High-scalability
  • The data of the failed node is automatically replicated to another node with no halt in the work process.
  • It’s durable and offers data consistency, making it perfect to hold the companies critical data.

Cons

  • Less suitable for systems that need high read accuracy.
  • ACID properties are missing

Most suitable for:

Cassandra is good for heavy write loads with fewer reads. It is most suitable for messaging systems, eCommerce websites, entertainment websites, etc.

Conclusion

The demand for open-source and database is rising day-by-day as there is technical growth throughout the World where a large amount of data is stored and modified daily. Every database management system has advantages and disadvantages. So, it’s important to choose the one that best suits your requirements.