Understanding 3 Leading Database Management Software Platforms
Databases, as a structure, are absolutely essential for nearly all types of business in the modern day. Whether utilized for abstract purposes, like the foundation for the storage of reference data for other programs, or for very straightforward purposes like storing customer phone numbers in a central location for easy access. As a result, it is beneficial for any business owner to have at least a basic understanding of database management software.
There are a number of database management software platforms that companies use to manage all sorts of data, but three are particularly worthy of mention. Those three pieces of software are known as MongoDB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. In this piece, we will explore each one and give a brief rundown of each one’s history and functionality.
MySQL Database Management System
Originally created and developed by the Swedish company MySQL AB, MySQL is now owned and upkept by Oracle. MySQL is one of the most popular database systems in the world, capable of running on nearly every major operating system used in the modern day. Hundreds of toolsets, GUIs, and more have been developed in tandem with the growth of MySQL as a whole, fueled by both community and corporate interest.
While MySQL is licensed as an open source project, Oracle does wield considerable influence over the platform’s development, which has caused notable controversy between the original creators, the community, and Oracle as a company. Despite this, the community has still flourished, and MySQL enjoys a renowned position of respect as a database management platform.
MongoDB, developed by the aptly named MongoDB Inc., is the Free-and-Open-Source-Software (FOSS) answer to many of the other database management software that are popularly used. While it was originally designed to be sold as a service (in a move that would have been well ahead of its time,) MongoDB decided to pivot towards a focus on open source development.
Unlike MySQL, MongoDB is a document-oriented database, which belongs to the categorization of “NoSQL” databases. Document-oriented databases function differently than traditional, or relational, databases. Relational databases require significantly more programmer preparation, as they require individual aspects of a particular item to be stored across multiple locations. Document-oriented databases can store all of the information about a specific item in a single place.
MongoDB has been implemented largely for its load balancing features, which allow programmers to utilize the database management software to dynamically redistribute queries, information, and use over a number of servers. This makes it ideal for applications, sites, and implementations that have great variance in load, since it can quickly shrink down servers that are not receiving much load, saving processing power, energy, and cost.
MongoDB’s biggest weakness is largely in its memory usage. It was years before MongoDB was able to efficiently run on 32-bit servers, and, as a result, many users with lower-spec servers were unable to utilize many of the features of MongoDB. Additionally, because of the way MongoDB handles document updating, certain requests for information can be less effective if a document is being actively updated when the request is submitted.
One of the earliest database management systems that is still in use to this day, PostgreSQL (usually referred to as Postgres,) began as the reimagining of Ingres, a University of California, Berkeley database system design. In 1982, Michael Stonebraker decided that he would pursue a proprietary version of Ingres, but returned a few years later after realizing that the database software of the time needed to be universally improved. 1985 proved to be the year of inception for “POSTGRES,” a database reimagining that would ultimately evolve into PostgreSQL as it is recognized in 1996.
Postgres never ended up being the proprietary project Michael Stonebraker originally left Berkeley to make; instead, it has been continually licensed under a FOSS license, much like MongoDB. The contributors to the modern Postgres project are numerous, and the project releases updates regularly to this day.
Postgres is largely used for its convenience of design. It utilizes a technology known as “multiversion concurrency control” to reduce the need for programmer oversite and server strain. This feature essentially allows a miniaturized summary of the database to be accessed and changed before major changes are put into the system.
Postgres is also very memory-efficient, allowing processes to complete faster and with less processing power required than many other database management options, including, interestingly, MySQL. For this reason, Postgres tends to be more popular on newer server setups.
Understanding the basics of databases in a worthwhile investment for anyone doing business online. The three database management software options explored in this piece are only a small picture of a vibrant and diverse industry full of offerings. If you’d like to keep learning more about what database software is right for your company, please visit www.nixa.ca today and contact us through our contact form.