Stefan Edlich
Stefan Edlich  —

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List of Free and Open Source DatabasesHandling 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. 

Top Ten Best Databases UK Review 🇬🇧

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

The Number One ✌️

Key Specifications

  • Open-source and free
  • There are dynamic columns in a table
  • It supports a wide range of programming languages
  • Replication capabilities are better
  • JSON and GIS supported by the latest version


  • Open-source community with a lot of active members
  • Active members rolling out regular patches


  • Graphical User Interface is lacking in this tool
  • The tool doesn’t support any mobile app

Open Source Database Review

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.

Most suitable for:

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

2. PostgreSQL

The one that doesn't forget 🧠

Key Specifications

  • Supports client/server network model
  • Scriptable in Python, Perl, PL and more
  • It supports geographic objects
  • An advanced locking mechanism
  • Native support for storage of documents
  • MVCC support
  • Data integrity and protection


  • The tool has several plugins already built in
  • Large open source community


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

PostgreSQL Open Source Database Review

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. And if you ever need a refresher course on NoSQL, check out our guide on what is NoSQL.

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.

Most suitable for:

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

Related Read: Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Common SQL Backup Issues

3. MongoDB

Mr. Flexible 💪

Key Specifications

  • Removing or adding a node from the cluster is simple
  • Represents data in BSON or JSON
  • Supports location-based data (geospatial data)
  • Extremely simple clustering and sharding
  • It provides sharding and replication


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


  • Not strongly ACID-compliant
  • No function or stored procedure to bind the logic.
  • Not suitable for highly transactional systems

MongoDB Open Source Database Review

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.

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

Fun to use 🔫

Key Specifications

  • Powerful database 
  • The tables are shareable
  • Changes done by the users can be tracked with time
  • Easy collaboration through comments
  • Built-in form builder for easy adding of data
  • Easy integration


  • Android and iOS apps available
  • The pre-built database templates designed for various business make it easy to get started with


  • The functionality of the relational database is limited

Airtable Open Source Database Review

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.

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

All about User Permissions 🔐

Key Specifications:

  • Data replication
  • Data import for CSV or Excel
  • Backup and recovery of data
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Supports multiple programming languages.
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Chart building and reporting


  • Flexibility in configuring user permissions
  • Allows the users to use the database collaboratively with multiple members and different access rights.


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

QuintaDB Open Source Database Review

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.

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

Easy to use 📓

Key Specifications:

  • Data import and export option available
  • Database integration
  • Automatic backup
  • Data synchronization
  • Barcode scanning
  • Advanced field-based search possible
  • Service API to integrate with other software.


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


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

Sonadier Open Source Database Review

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.

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

Saving to memory... 💾

Key Specifications:

  • Cluster support
  • On-disk persistence
  • Versatile data structure
  • Lua scripting
  • Wide variety of data types are supported
  • High-availability and scalability


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


  • No query language or joins

Redis Open Source Database Review

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.

Most suitable for:

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

8. Neo4j

Putting Data to Good Use 💽

Key Specifications

  • Supports full ACID properties
  • Safety and reliability of data replication
  • Supports the export of query data in JSON and XLS
  • Built-in web-based apps to create your graph data
  • Semi-structured data is easily represented
  • Scalability, increasing the number of writes and reads
  • Eliminates the need for using complex queries


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


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

Neo4j Open Source Database Review

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.

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.

Additional tip: If you want to run a safety check, Detectify offers security tests for known web vulnerabilities found in the open-source databases like Neo 4j and MongoDB.

9. SQLite

No installation needed 🛠️

Key Specifications:

  • It loads only the required data rather than everything
  • No configuration requirements
  • Cross-platform file formats are supported
  • It can be used as embedded software with phones
  • Continuously updated and backed up by SQLite
  • Highly compatible with all programming languages
  • Average level programming skills necessary to use


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


  • Can’t handle large scale applications.
  • The size of the database is restricted to 2 GB in most cases.

SQLite Open Source Database Review

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.

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

For Messaging, Shopping and Entertainment 🎙️

Key Specifications:

  • Easy data distribution
  • Fault-tolerant
  • Transaction support
  • It offers horizontal scaling
  • Multi data center replication
  • Allows you to add as many nodes as you want
  • One of the fastest databases


  • High-scalability
  • The data of the failed node is automatically replicated
  • It’s durable and offers data consistency


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

Cassandra Open Source Database Review

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.

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.


One last thing 🎪

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.