As a web developer, you constantly look for a database that is efficient, scalable and robust. This article will guide you on the best of the databases that are available for web developers and designers and how to download each of them.
Database administration services are in no short supply nowadays. They have improved in quality over the years owing to the increasing development of technology. In fact, you can get awesome tools to do your database administration of your own all thanks to companies that have taken it upon themselves to provide data solutions to their clients. The only problem that you might have is accessing the skills to manage that database that you own. This is not to say that you cannot get a good database administrator to help you out. There are so many of these people nowadays.
Databases for website developers
Website development and design services have become so popular in today’s world that you can get them by simply turning your computer on. There are companies that will fetch your contacts from your social media accounts and send you emails or even SMSs telling you that they are offering website design services. To such companies, it really does not matter whether you want a website or not. They will still send you the details. Anyway, that is beside the point. Web design is becoming more and more popular since people are discovering that there is a whole ton of money that you can earn from the internet.
The power of the database management system (DBMS) is of great interest to most web developers. You will want to go with that one which integrates with other technologies easily. However, as a beginner in web development, you will not bother much with such issues when selecting the DBMS you want to work with. The issues you will have in mind include things like: cost of getting started, the user interface, tools and help available for you as a beginner.
Choose from the best of the best
Before going there though it is worth pointing out that accessing DBA services is always of great help to any person or business that owns a business. It is good for the health of your database. With that said, here are the databases that are worth considering:
- MySQL Community Server
If there is a database management system that comes highly loaded, then it must be this one. The community version of this server is free and it is a fantastic platform that you can use to begin learning the web development that you so want to learn. The fact that it is free makes all the difference for most beginner web designers and developers. However, as your skill develop and advance, you will find the commercial versions of MySQL to be the best option. When you are developing those large scale commercial applications you will need these versions. Getting started is just so effortless and there is a lot of help available online in the event that you get stuck somewhere.
- Microsoft Access
This database is one that you probably have already. Unlike the MySQL aforementioned, Microsoft Access is a paid product but since it usually comes as part of Microsoft Office then a majority of developers already has it. It is also possible to download a trial version of Access which you can use for some two months and see whether it works for your tastes and preferences.
Like MySQL however, it helps you to design a task or table visually and then you can view the syntax that will be created. Secondly, you do not have to do two separate installations for Access because it usually comes as one application- the design tool and the DBMS. Sadly, it is not all that flexible when it comes to the operating systems that it can be installed on. Generally Access is perfect for learning and it can be used for those low traffic sites. You cannot dare to employ it for sites with moderate or heavy traffic because it will become sluggish.
- Oracle Express Edition
To start with the design tools and the server application is separate. Luckily it can operate on multiple operating systems. The download options are than most other DBMSs that you will come across this list. It is great for sites with moderate traffic.
- Microsoft SQL Server Express
It is almost similar to the Oracle Express above mentioned. Now these two are database management systems with immense power. Like the Oracle, it has the server applications that you must install separately from the design tools. The biggest difference between these two is in the syntax of their SQL. With Microsoft SQL Server you can only use it in a limited number of operating systems, but it is free to download.
- DB2 Express-C
This is another relative of the Microsoft SQL and Oracle Express and not a distant relative for that matter. The only downside to this one is the fact that you cannot access tons of articles, examples, tutorials and other material to guide you whenever you are stuck like with the other databases. Downloading it is free, but then it is not exactly the finest option for people who are starting out in web development and design. It is going to give you some serious stress. If it is any consolation, though, it is very flexible in terms of the operating systems that it can be used on.
To help you with the selection of the database, then there are several things that can help you. For starters, do you want to pay for the database management system that you would like to purchase? Secondly, the option you take is going to be informed by your experience in the field. Beginners are not going to use the same thing as the veteran web developers and designers. Still, with any of the aforementioned five options, you will be good to go.
There are some glaring omissions: PostgreSQL stands out with its no cost license, open development model, widespread support among programming languages, and robust commercial and non-commercial support and extensions.
There are the database management systems that rely on a different model than relational, and these have APIs which mean that a web service tool can build the entire stack, an advantage that is so much more powerful than Access’s graphical interface for database design. (Sorry to pick on Access, but I’ve seen quite a few barely maintainable Access messes — some of my own creation two decades back — and I think the interface has gotten less expressive over time.)
There’s SQLite, which is perhaps most suitable for a beginner, as it is no cost, easily installed on Linux/BSD systems — which should be your choice for a hosting server, and available out of the box and linked to CoreData on Apple OS X systems.
MySQL was forked after its acquisition by Oracle and a significant portion of its development community went to work on MariaDB, and this should have been mentioned.
These omissions suggest a common thread for the highlighted products: the databases one could choose were the world no more than Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM.
Good products from good companies, but there are many other choices. Plus, I cannot emphasize this enough, in building a web application, choosing a database is among the last problems to solve. Investigate frameworks, such as Ruby, pick the one that seems most understandable, and choose the database that the framework is tuned for. Relational databases use variants of the SQL language, but your framework will abstract away this complexity. Think frameworks, not implementation details!