A database is an organized storage system made of structured data that makes the management and accessibility of data convenient.
A database is useful for a wide range of real-life situations like keeping an eye on accounting records, storing large quantities of data from a device network, tracking your company’s inventory, or building a web app.
There are many different databases and database management systems available today. To find the best database management system for your business, you should look for guides and comparisons online, such as Snowflake vs Redshift comparison, for instance. This information will lead you to the right decision and choosing the best database management system for your business.
Let’s take a look and see how you can make your choice.
What Is A Database Management System Exactly?
A database management system (also known as database management software) is designed to let users store, manipulate, and manage data. This includes the format, names of fields, and record and file structures found in a database environment.
A person can create their own databases using a database management system to fulfill their business needs.
In order to interact with a database, a DBMS package usually uses SQL queries. It gets a command from a database admin and prompts the system to do the requested action. These instructions are usually about loading, retrieving, or modifying existing data in the system.
Some of the data types that can be stored in a database software include:
- Binary data
- Data and time
- Textual data
- Numerical data
SQL-Based And NoSQL-Based
Now would be a good time to make a clear distinction between a relational and a non-relational database management system (SQL vs NoSQL databases).
For the last few decades, companies relied on relational database management systems which used the SQL programming language. SQL-based systems are still dominant to this day.
However, there is a growing trend of more and more companies using NoSQL database management systems in the last few years.
SQL-Based (Relational) Database Management Systems
SQL-based database management systems rely on SQL, which is a language that provides a structured and well-organized approach to information management.
This is similar to a contacts ledger that has various categories of information for each line of data. These databases apply categorical parameters, enabling users to access, organize, and maintain information within the parameters with ease.
NoSQL-Based (Non-Relational) Database Management Systems
NoSQL-based database management systems do not rely on an organized and structured approach to information management. All of the information is unorganized and there is no clearly defined structure like what you would find in SQL-based database management systems.
NoSQL databases allow users to organize data in a looser manner. Envision it like dropping information in different folders.
Many people turn to non-relational databases because they can store unstructured information and expose it to powerful business intelligence systems that will go through it with AI algorithms and they can store unstructured data that can be structured later.
On top of that, non-relational databases also work with NoSQL formats such as JSON. This has become vital for web-based apps that allow websites to update on the go without having to close and reopen the page again.
Most Popular Database Management Systems
A database management system offers data independence since the storage mechanism and formats can be altered without changing the entire app within the database.
The most popular options of this kind include:
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Access DBMS
- IBM DB2
What To Look For In A Database Management System?
When choosing a database management system, make sure to ask for these features:
- Low repetition and redundancy. Find a database system that reduces repetition and redundancy by creating a single data repository that can be accessed by multiple users.
- Easy maintenance. Choose a database management system that helps users maintain databases easily.
- Security layers. The security of your data should be a top priority. This means that you need a system that doesn’t allow full access to anyone except the database administrator.
- File consistency. Choose a database management system that allows you to create a standardized way to use files that would ensure consistency of data with other systems and apps.
- Multi-user environment. Your next database management system needs to support a multi-user environment. It should allow several users to access and work on data simultaneously.
Hopefully, you are now familiar with these systems and you have a better idea of what system might fit your business needs. Have another good look at the mini-guide and then sit down to do some thinking before you make a final decision.