How to Choose the Right Database for Your Application

Developing a new application means there are many decisions an organization needs to make. One of the most important choices that the development team faces is which database platform to select. The solution they select can have major implications on the viability and success of their application and the development efforts required to complete the project.

The choice can be complicated by the many solutions on the market. Some team members may have their favorites or be more experienced with certain platforms, but care should be taken when making the selection. Multiple factors need to be considered before making a final decision. In this post, we will look at some of the most important elements that inform the choice of database platform.

Factors That Impact the Choice of Database Solution

There are aspects of your intended application that will narrow down your choice of database platform. Here are some of the factors that need to be considered when making your decision.

Data volume and type - The type of data and its volume will have a major influence on the choice of database platform. As the amount of data you will be storing and accessing increases, the number of viable solutions decreases. Many databases can handle data volumes measured in terabytes but if you expect petabytes to be in scope, your options are limited and will most likely involve obtaining tiered storage to improve performance.

The type of data your application will interact with can immediately eliminate many potential solutions. Strongly-typed data that can be nicely formatted into rows and columns is usually best handled by relational SQL databases. More amorphous data such as that generated by social media feeds and emails is better addressed by NoSQL document or graph databases.

Number and distribution of users -  The number of simultaneous users that your database will need to serve may make certain solutions more attractive than others. Not all solutions will be able to handle thousands of concurrent users. The scalability of the platform can be especially important when dealing with commercial applications where the number of users cannot easily be determined.

When the user base is geographically dispersed, you may need to insist on a database that supports globally distributed nodes. Latency issues can affect reading and writing to databases that are physically located far from their intended users.

The main type of data processing - Depending on the type of data processing that the system is designed to handle, different databases will provide the desired level of performance. Transactional applications benefit from databases that furnish high write speeds and use a minimal number of indexes. If the application focuses on data analysis, increased reading speed and more indexes will be a better solution.

Cost - The financial implications of the chosen database platform can be the deciding factor when making the final decision. The cost of databases ranges from very expensive solutions to reliable freeware offerings like MySQL. While price should not negate the other considerations that contribute to the viability of the application, it can become important when multiple platforms offer similar functionality.

Compliance - Applications that deal with sensitive data are subject to regulatory considerations that vary based on the users’ jurisdiction. If your application falls into this category, you need to ensure that the database platform selected can adequately protect the data resources and maintain compliance with standards.

Team familiarity - When competing databases are determined to provide the same functionality and performance, the decision may come down to the team’s familiarity with a given solution. Eliminating the learning curve inherent in bringing in a new platform can facilitate more speedy application development.

Managing the Selected Database

While you may have spent a considerable amount of time deciding on the database platform that is suitable for your application, you will not have the same issues when finding the right management tool once the decision has been made. Aqua Data Studio is a versatile database management solution that supports over 30 popular database platforms including Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, MongoDB, and Snowflake.

Aqua Data Studio lets your team access, manage, and administer both relational and NoSQL databases from a unified interface, improving productivity in multi-platform environments. They can use the same tool whether the database ends up being hosted in your data center or the cloud. Adopting Aqua Data Studio as your database management and development solution eliminates any constraints on database selection based on the database team’s available tools. It allows you to concentrate on choosing the platform that enables your application to achieve peak performance.