How To Choose The Right Database For Your Mobile App?
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Experts Recommended List Of Databases For Mobile App Development

Omji Mehrotra By Omji Mehrotra | September 21, 2021
list of databases for mobile app development

Imagine your mobile app designers create appealing graphics, dynamic UI, friendly content & layout. And now it’s time to optimize the mobile application for UX and performance during the development process. But, your quality assurance team is not giving a nod of approval at all. The reasons are app back-end database glitches, inconsistent data flow, services disapproval and slow or faulty database performance. These are impacts of big data on mobile app development projects. That’s where the list of databases for mobile app development comes into the picture. 

If you are planning to build an app on react native platform, you need to know about top local databases for react native app development

Whether you are a private venture or an established enterprise, data is a precious asset for your business. A database is just like a room in an office where all essential data and reports are stored. 

Are you still unsure why databases are important for your mobile app development? 

A mobile app uses a database to access the accurate information necessary to deliver a service, functionality or feature when demanded. What’s more, it improves data processes and increases the business value of an organization’s data assets. 

Some facts about the best database 2021 or beyond:

  • Reports conducted by business.com state that 91% of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM development services.
  • According to a report by Nucleus Research, 65% of companies that are using CRM software for mobile & web app development are achieving their sales quotas. 
  • A report by Future Market states that the mobile CRM market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 13% over 2019-2029. 
stack overflow developer survey

Also Read: Why you need of customer relationship management CRM

Databases are the heart of any software app. You will need one or more databases to build all types of software apps. These apps are Web, AI, ML, Blockchain, IoT and many more. Twenty years ago, selecting a database for your mobile apps was much easier. But, with the rise of several databases tools & software in the market, choosing the right one has become the most challenging task. Fortunately, in this article, we will spark a list of databases with powerful features that are trusted by expert developers. 

Table of Content

1- An Ultimate List of Databases For Mobile Apps Development

2- How To Choose The Right Database For Your App Development Project?

3- How Appventurez can help in building databases for mobile apps?

4- Frequently Asked Questions-

An Ultimate List of Databases For Mobile Apps Development

There are two major types of databases for mobile apps:

#1 – Relational or sequence databases

#2 – Non-relational or non-sequence databases

Organizations use both types of databases individually or combined as per the required functionality & data’s nature. Let’s have a look at a list of databases used by experts for mobile apps:

#1 – Relational or sequence databases

MySQL

Oracle

PostgreSQL

SQL Server

MariaDB

IBM DB2 

#2 – Non-relational or non-sequence databases

MongoDB

Redis

Elasticsearch

Cassandra

Amazon DynamoDB

HBase

Let’s know about them in detail:

#1 – Relational or sequence databases

A relational database is also known as a sequence database that stores and provides access to data points that are related to each other. Here is a list of databases that come under the category of the relational or SQL (Sequential Query Language) databases:

relational or sequence database

#1 – MySQL

MySQL is one of the most popular SQL (Sequential Query Language) databases, especially in web app development. It is ideal for several reasons such as e-commerce, data warehousing and logging. The main focus of this database is on stability, robustness & full growth. MySQL is written in C & C++ and uses a structured query language. MySQL 8.0 is the most recent version of this database and it consists of a better recovery option. Some of the world’s largest companies use MySQL such as Facebook, Uber, Netflix and many more. 

This system runs on available platforms like Linux, Windows & UNIX. Joomla, Magento & OsCommerce are some tools that take advantage of MySQL. This open-source SQL database is a secure, affordable & fast database and manages memory extremely well. 

Key Features of MySQL

  • Open source RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) with two licensing models such as free Community Server and proprietary Enterprise Server.
  • A solid data security layer for sensitive data protection
  • MySQL is free to use so that you can download it from MySQL’s official website without any cost.
  • MySQL supports multi-processing that makes it easily scalable.
  • MySQL supports a wide number of embedded applications, which makes MySQL flexible.
  • Its memory efficiency is high due to its low memory leakage issue,
  • MySQL helps developers to give higher productivity

When to Use MySQL

  • Structured Data (SQL) with an ACID transaction is required
  • Horizontal Scalability is a key requirement
  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is a fundamental requirement.
  • Data Security is a key feature.
  • A merged database is required.

When Not To Use MySQL

  • Distributed SQL is required to handle millions of worldwide transactions 
  • Data is extremely relational such as Social Media
  • Semi-structured JSON data with advanced query features
  • Advanced-data Protection such as Masking, Obfuscating & Throttling

MySQL As a Service

  • MySQL Database Service (Multi-Cloud, OLTP, and OLAP)
  • ScaleGrid (Horizontal Scaling)
  • Vitess (Horizontal Scaling)
  • Amazon RDS for MySQL
  • Oracle MySQL Cloud Service (Horizontal Scaling)
  • Azure MySQL Database
  • Google Cloud SQL for MySQL

#2 – Oracle

Oracle is one of the most popular commercial relational database management systems. It is built-in languages such as C, C++ & Java. It includes a plethora of new useful features such as JSON from SQL. It is an ACID-compliant database system because it aids to maintain the reliability and integrity of data.

You can also read about Java vs. Python.

Oracle operates on different operating systems such as Windows Server, Unix, and Linux distributions. Currently, the most recent version of RDBMS, 21c, includes plenty of new features that make it an attractive option in the coming years. 

Key Features of Oracle

  • Real App Clustering and Portability make an Oracle database scalable as per usage
  • Oracle provides a process to control data access and usage
  • Its layout has complete recovery features to recover data from almost all kinds of failures
  • Offers Blockchain Tables
  • Supports both OLTP and OLAP workload
  • Offers multiple access patterns depending on the specific Data Model

When to use Oracle

  • If a company wants a Converged database or Master Database
  • Blockchain Table is demanded
  • For Data Warehousing 

When not to use Oracle

  • If a company wants a cost-effective database
  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is a must-have feature.
  • Data is Semi-structured,
  • Data is extremely relational such as social media

Oracle as a services

  • Oracle Converged Database
  • Amazon RDS for Oracle

#3 – PostgreSQL

The most advanced open-source relational database, PostgreSQL is also considered as Postgre. This sequence database stresses the standard compliance along with expandable & functions as object-relational database software. It is ideal for developing mobile apps with high performance, high reliability and robustness. 

PostgreSQL is written in C and used by businesses that cope up with a huge amount of data. Many gaming apps, database automation tools and domain registrations use it as database management trends

Key features of PostgreSQL

  • It supports Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC)
  • It supports the locking mechanism and images, videos & also supports graphical data
  • It has the capacity for fault tolerance & user-defined data types
  • It requires deficient maintenance
  • It offers an ACID transactional guarantee

When to use PostgreSQL

  • SQL data and ACID transaction guarantee is required with strict Data security
  • Distributed SQL is required for millions of worldwide transactions.
  • A sophisticated query planner is required
  • Advanced Reliability and Disaster Recovery are desired, e.g., PITR, Active Standbys.

When not using PostgreSQL

  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is required
  • Semi-structured data like JSON data with advanced queries is required
  • Both OLTP and OLAP databases are required.
  • Data is extremely relational (e.gSocial Media), i.eGraph like data.

PostgreSQL As a Service

  • EDB for PostgreSQL (Horizontal Scaling)
  • CitusData (Distributed SQL)
  • ScaleGrid (Horizontal Scaling)
  • Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL
  • Azure PostgreSQL Database
  • Google Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL

#4 – Microsoft SQL Server

It is one of the most popular commercial database systems with excellent Tooling support features from Microsoft. This database software is widely used for storing & retrieving the data to & from the software app system. It is adapted well with Linux and Windows. MS SQL is a multi-model database that supports SQL, JSON & Spatial Data.

Key features of MS SQL:

  • Established RDBMS with various licenses such as Developer (free), Standard, and Enterprise (commercial) licenses.
  • Offers ACID transactional guarantee
  • Supports Server-side scripting via several top programming languages such as .NET, Python, and Java. 
  • Excellent tools for both On-premise and Cloud

When to use MS SQL

  • Structured with an ACID transaction is required
  • The development platform is fully integrated with other Microsoft Products (fully-integrated platform with other Microsoft products)
  • A company already has MS-SQL databases and wants to move them into top Cloud computing trends

When not to use MS SQL

  • If your company has low Budgets for databases.
  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is a must-have feature.
  • Semi-structured data is required with advanced query operations.
  • Distributed SQL database & a Converged database is desired

MS SQL Server As a Service

  • Azure SQL (horizontal scaling)
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server
  • SQL Server on Google Cloud

#5 – MariaDB

MariaDB is compatible with MySQL Protocol and Clients.  The MySQL server can be easily replaced with MariaDB without changing any code. This management system provides column storage with a huge parallel distributed data structure. It is more community-driven than MySQL. 

Key features of MariaDB

  • It consists of two licensing models such as free Community Server and commercial Enterprise Server.
  • Offers ACID transactional guarantee (with InnoDB engine)
  • MariaDB can be used as an OLAP database
  • With its Graph Computation Engine “OQGRAPH,” it supports hierarchical and complicated graph data types.

When to use MariaDB

  • Structured data (SQL), and ACID transaction guarantee is required
  • Distributed SQL is required to handle a lot of worldwide transactions
  • Versatile clustering and Multi-Node data warehousing are required 
  • A multi-model database is required
  • A converged database is required for OLTP, OLAP, and Graph workload

When not to use MariaDB

  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is a must-have feature.
  • Semi-structured data is required with highly advanced query functions 
  • Advanced Indexing like descending & functional are required
  • Advanced Authentication and Authorization are required

MariaDB as service

  • SkySQL (Distributed SQL)
  • Amazon RDS for MariaDB
  • Azure Database for MariaDB

#6 – IBM DB2 

IBM DB2 comes in the list of databases for mobile apps that supports the relational model. This relational database management system supports object-relational features and non-relational features such as JSON & XML. IBM also offered DB2 LUW for Windows, Linux & Unix. DB2 11.5 is the most updated version of IBM DB2 and it speeds up quarry execution. 

Key features of IBM DB2

  • Db2 is a proprietary RDBMS with an ACID transactional guarantee. It has different licenses such as Community (free), Standard, and Advanced (commercial)
  • Supports SQL, JSON, & Graph Data
  • It is also a combined database that has excellent OLAP support via IBM BLU Acceleration & Native support for artificial intelligence
  • It offers horizontal scaling via Db2 pureScale

When to Use IBM DB2

  • If Converged database or Master Database is a key requirement.
  • As the main Database (OLTP Database) with an ACID transaction guarantee.
  • AI functionality in the database is required 
  • As an OLAP database (e.g., Data Warehouse).
  • If a company is already using IBM Cloud for Data

When not to use IBM DB2

  • If the company wants to save money or be on a budget
  • Multi-Master ACID transaction is a must-have feature
  • Semi-structured data such as JSON with advanced query functions
  • When only Azure or Google Cloud is used as a Cloud provider

Also Read: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud– Which is the top platform for businesses?

IBM Db2 As a Service

  • IBM Db2 on Cloud
  • Db2 Workgroup on AWS Marketplace

#2 – Non-relational or non-sequence databases

Non-relational or NoSQL databases store data in a proper format than other relational databases. If your data requirements are not clear or if you are dealing with huge amounts of unstructured data, you will want to use non-relational databases due to great flexibility. 

Here are some examples of non-relational or NoSQL databases:

features and use of non-relational or non sequence databases

#1 – MongoDB

If you need a database for modern iOS & Android app developers or the cloud era, MongoDB is the right choice. It is a general-purpose, document-based & distributed database. It includes both scalability & flexibility. It is a document database which means it stores data in JSON-like document formats. 

In addition, loading & accessing data with Object-Oriented programming languages into relational database management systems need extra app-level mapping. 

Key features of MongoDB

  • It has two licenses as free for Community Server & commercial for Enterprise Server
  • It offers horizontal scaling through Auto-Sharding 
  • It has built-in replication via primary-secondary nodes
  • Distributed multi-document ACID transactions with snapshot isolation
  • Rich and powerful query language with complicated querying using aggregation pipeline
  • It also supports Map query, text search & graph search
  • It also offers a full-text search engine and data lake developed on MongoDB

When to use MongoDB

  • Data is Document or semi-structured with advanced query features
  • Fast Android or iOS app development services where the schema is continuously changing
  • Large structured data is normalized to multiple SQL tables in terms of performance and complexity
  • Data is Schema-less
  • Consistency is preferred over semi-structured data’s availability

When not to use MongoDB

  • Extremely relational & Graph like data is required 
  • For Data Warehousing 
  • High availability is preferred over Consistency

MongoDB as a service

  • MongoDB Atlas (Global Scaling)
  • ScaleGrid MongoDB (Managed MongoDB)
  • ApsaraDB for MongoDB

#2 – Redis

Open-source, in-memory data structure store, Redis is used as a database, cache & message broker. This database supports data structures like sets, strings, lists & stored sets with several queries, bitmaps, geospatial indexes with radius queries. It is written in ANSI C & works in most POSIX systems like Linux OS X without external holding capabilities. 

Key features of Redis

  • In-memory NoSQL data structure store with BSD 3-clause license
  • Used as a distributed, in-memory key-value database
  • Used as a message broker with high durability
  • Highly scalable with the developed impression, automatic redundancy, and sharding via Redis Cluster
  • Advanced Cache functionality 

When to use Redis

  • The distributed in-memory data structure is required.
  • Distributed and enterprise-quality storage is required
  • For Session Management
  • Real-time use cases, e.g., Inventory systems
  • For a large amount of Dataset.

When not to use Redis

  • Single server in-memory data structure store is required for a small set of data.
  • Primary data storage (OLTP Database) with an ACID transactional guarantee.
  • Single Server caching is needed for a small set of data.
  • Data is extremely relational (e.g., Social Media), i.e., Graph like data.
  • When an OLAP database is needed.

Redis as a service

  • Redis Enterprise Cloud (Multi-Cloud)
  • ScaleGrid Redis (Managed Redis)
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • Azure Cache for Redis
  • Google Memorystore

#3 – Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch is an open-source search & analytics platform for all types of data such as textual, numerical, structured & unstructured. It includes several open-source tools for data progress, storage, analysis and visualization. The speed & scalability of this database can be used for app & web search, logging analytics, app performance monitoring, security analytics and many more. 

Many companies use ML for data analysis as it helps them get better & accurate results. For more detail, you can read why machine learning is right for data analysis.

Key features of Elasticsearch

  • Automatic data rebalancing
  • It supports in apache-spark, pig, hive, storm
  • Several plugins and integrations are available for free.
  • It can manage Elasticsearch with management related APIs

Also Read: Guide to API development

When to use Elasticsearch

  • If you want to high speed & high performance in the search
  • You need an open-source database with no cost of downloading
  • You want to make your data searchable

Elasticsearch as a service

  • Elastic Cloud (Multi-Cloud)
  • Amazon Elasticsearch Service

#4 – Cassandra

If you are looking for a database to handle huge amounts of data, Cassandra is a highly scalable database. Also known as Apache Cassandra, it is a free non-sequential database management software built by Apache Software Foundation in 2008. 

High security makes your mobile app stand in a crowd. So, you need to follow some steps to enhance your mobile app security

Key features of Cassandra

  • Open Core & distributed Store database with Apache License 2.0.
  • Used as OLAP Database to handle the gigantic volume of data. 
  • Offers linear horizontal scaling 
  • Separated database with automatic replication and multi-datacenter replication, resulting in fault-tolerant.
  • User-friendly and SQL-like query language such as CQL

When to use Cassandra

  • As a typical OLAP database, e.g., as Data Warehouse.
  • Web-Scale apps need to handle a lot of writes and read operations with linear scalability
  • For high durable use cases 

When not to Use Cassandra

  • As an OLTP database with ACID transaction guarantee.
  • If linear scalability & high availability is not required.
  • It is JVM-based and C++-based Cassandra compliant ScyllaDB to save Cloud bills.

Cassandra As a Service

  • DataStax Astra (Multi-Cloud)
  • Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service

#5 – Amazon DynamoDB

It is a non-relational type of database from Amazon. DynamoDB is a serverless database for mobile apps that increases & decreases automatically when backing up your data. This database features integrated security and in-memory caching & consistent latency. Amazon DynamoDB can handle trillions of requests per day. In addition, it can support more than 20 million requests per second. 

Key features of Amazon DynamoDB

  • It supports the world’s largest scale apps by providing consistent & millisecond response times at any scale. 
  • It provides both provisioned and on-demand capacity modes for cost optimization. 
  • It supports ACID transactions for business-critical apps development 

When to use Amazon DynamoDB

  • Basic or simple queries are present
  • Auto-sharding & auto-scaling is required
  • Low latency is required
  • There is no size or throughput limit or no tuning
  • High durability is required

When not to use Amazon DynamoDB

  • Multi-item or cross-table transactions are required
  • Complicated queries and joins are required
  • Real-time analytics on historic data is required

#6 – HBase

As it is built on top of Hadoop & HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System), Apache HBase is also known as the Hadoop database. It is one of the most popular non-relational, open-source and distributed NoSQL database solutions, written in Java language. This database is suitable for applications where you need real-time and random read/write access to massive amounts of data. 

Key features of HBase

  • It supports scalability in both modular & linear form
  • It supports distributed storage like HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System)
  • Apache Hadoop development solution supports Java APIs to allow clients to access them easily
  • It supports back up of Hadoop MapReduce tasks in HBase tables
  • It supports block cache and Bloom filters to make real-time query processing easy

When to use HBase

  • Your app has a variable schema where each row is slightly different
  • Your data is stored in collections
  • Key-based access to data when storing or retrieving is required

When not to use HBase

  • Transaction support is required
  • Perfect SQL structure is required
  • You want to implement any cross data operations and joining operations

So, this is a list of databases for mobile app developers. All databases are not available in this top 12 list like NewSQL & Cloud Native databases. However, it will give you a high-level overview of the top databases for your mobile app development project in 2021. If you are still unsure about which database is best for you as an app developer, continue to read on. 

How To Choose The Right Database For Your App Development Project?

Mobile app databases are the cornerstone of any app whether it’s Android or iOS. But, selecting the right database is a major challenging task. Along with a lot of options, there is a huge possibility that your current database is not enough to handle several users and frequent mobile app updates. So, how to choose the right one for your mobile application development project? Here are some tips:

General Criteria to Choose The Right Databases for Developing Mobile Apps

  • Check your data structure
  • Determine your data’s size
  • Perform data modeling
  • Optimize speed & scale
  • Make sure your app supports multiple mobile app platforms
  • Check Data security

Selection Criteria Based on Use Cases

  • Mobile Applications With Multiple Layers of Data
  • Users who have a low network issue
  • Resolve data conflicts between devices 
  • Pushing new app updates and database changes

What else? You can get in touch with a reputed mobile app development company such as Appventurez to build the right database for your mobile app. 

How Appventurez Can Help In Building Databases For Mobile Apps?

At Appventurez, we are passionate about creating great database solutions that create your business’s value and lead to success. We have a dedicated team of experienced developers who build databases to turn your ideas into a new driving force for your business. Our experts optimize your process’s efficiency and mitigate risks & frauds to build the right database solutions for your mobile apps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Why are databases important for business apps?

A database is important for business apps as it comes with a basket of benefits. It helps to retain existing customers and attract new ones. Here are other reasons why mobile apps databases are important for developing business applications:

  1. Sell complementary products
  2. To make customers aware of special offers
  3. To tell them about new services and products
  4. To send offers to specific groups
  5. Results are evident because you can consider the returns
  6. It’s very useful in direct marketing

Q- What is the easiest database to use?

SQLite is the easiest database to use and learn thanks to its light and easy design. This relational database management system is perfect for practicing joins and simple queries.

Q- Which database is best for Python?

Python has amazing database programming features. It maintains a different list of databases like SQLite, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and so forth.

Omji Mehrotra
Omji Mehrotra

Co-Founder and AVP Technology at Appventurez. An accomplished Android and React Native developer who is a fan of clean and optimized code, he is a passionate team builder having smart project managerial skills and has a deep love to provide end to end solution.

⚡️ by Appventurez

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