Best Database Software in 2021

best database software server
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A reliable database is a top priority in any enterprise for both small-scale businesses and large blue-chips. Therefore, it is critical to choose the best database software to help you achieve your information management goals.

What is the Best Database Software?

What is the Best Database Software

According to industry statistics, the database software market is worth more than $15 billion. More than 90% of businesses rely on technology for data processing.

So, how can you identify the best database software for personal or business use? It depends on two factors, customization and price.

The largest companies worry more about customization than price, and that’s why many of them prefer Linux-based tools. On the other hand, individuals and small companies consider price first, leading them to rely on cheaper versions, trial versions, or free database software application.

In addition to these two criteria, below are more factors to help you identify your needs’ perfect database software solution.

How Can You Choose the Best Database Software?

How Can You Choose the Best Database Software

Here is a list of some of the factors to consider when selecting the best database software.

  • Security features – accessibility, permissions, and authentication of users and devices.
  • Scalability- how well does the database software manage or handle growth?
  • Performance- How fast can your preferred software execute tasks?
  • Navigation- Consider the user interface and how easy it is to move between tools.
  • How well does it support structured and unstructured data types?
  • Does it support multiple operating systems and frameworks?
  • Server Administration – how well does the software respond to web services, remote access, storage, troubleshooting, and reliability?

Where to Choose From?

You can consider using any of the following 16 database software for 2021, depending on your needs.

  1. Knack
  2. Microsoft SQL
  3. Teradata
  4. Improvado
  5. Amazon Relational Database
  6. PostgreSQL
  7. Oracle Database
  8. Altibase
  9. IBM Db2
  10. MongoDB
  11. Cassandra
  12. CouchDB
  13. MariaDB
  14. SQLite
  15. Firebird
  16. MySQL

1. Knack

Knack, the best database software for Mac 2021, was founded in 2010. It is a SaaS-based online tool that enables you to structure, extend and connect data without coding.

Knack’s top clients include; Seahawks, Panasonic, HP, Capital One, Honda, and Harvard University.

Features of Knack

Knack database software features 39 pre-formatted database templates. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose a pre-created CRM template to help you manage your customers.

Knack offers large companies database templates to help with project management and payroll. You can also find pre-formatted parameters to manage your purchases and inventory.

Advantages of Knack

  • Knack is easy to learn and does not require advanced programming knowledge. With Knack, you can build numerous apps and customize JavaScript and CSS for each app.  
  • The vast functional field types give you many options to organize your database. This software enables you to create reports in a variety of ways. More so, you can effortlessly generate simple summaries or complex and detailed reports. With Knack, you can also produce colorful charts and graphs.
  • The parameters in Knack are flexible and easy to navigate. Furthermore, Knack software allows you to export data in various formats. You can use it to help solve your data management, custom, and automation workflows.

Disadvantages of Knack

  • It is common to experience bugs when using Knack database software. Nevertheless, you can invest in a good antivirus to counter this situation and continue to enjoy other benefits from Knack software.
  • Besides being buggy, knacks customer service response can be annoyingly slow. However, you can find some helpful information from Knack’s FAQ section.

What to Expect When Starting Up Knack

Start by organizing the primary columns that you need. You can proceed by structuring your data such as names, emails, phone numbers, and locations within the set columns.

Experts consider Knack the best database software for small businesses.

Next, you need to link your data by merging it with different systems. Knack’s Application Programming Interface integrates well with tools like Zapier.

Finally, you can transform your data into useful information by creating custom formulas and equations. Furthermore, you can also develop auto-generated graphs and charts.

Price of Knack

Knack offers a 14-day trial free period for you to try out the Knack online database software and get to know it.

Knack’s starter plans sell at 79 dollars a month. This offer includes 3 app connections, 2GB of storage with up to 20,000 records.

The Pro Plan gives you up to 8 app connections. This offer sells at 79 dollars and provides 50,000 records with a maximum of 5 GB storage.

Finally, you pay 179 dollars for Knack’s Corporate Plan to get 125,000 records. More so, this offer includes a whopping 50GB of storage with up to 25 app connections.  Furthermore, you also get premier, white-glove support from Knack.

2. Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL is one of the best database management systems for beginners management systems you can use to store and retrieve information at once. This software can run on your personal computer and another workstation across a network.

Microsoft SQL is the best database software for small businesses and operates on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft Windows Server.

Key Features of Microsoft SQL Server

  • You can get Microsoft SQL developer and express versions free of cost. This free trial can help you determine your next step when chasing the best database software.
  • It offers advanced data security attributes to help protect your database.
  • Microsoft SQL prides on an excellent database performance. This software enables you to deliver data analytics results on any platform or device.
  • Another key feature of Microsoft SQL is its ability to process queries effectively. The improved query processing boosts database performance in SQL database and server.
  • Automatic Plan Correction incorporated in this software helps fix performance issues by marking problematic query implementation.

Advantages of Microsoft SQL Server

  • Microsoft SQL can handle elaborate queries and merge with other programs. It is effective in the management of distributed databases.
  • This software is admired for its capability to create tables, designs, and view data without any form of coding.
  • It is easy to use. One of Microsoft SQL’s main advantages is that almost anyone can install and use it.  You do not need to be an expert programmer to set up a new database server.
  • The template explorer feature identifies multiple names in the database system.
  • Unlike Microsoft Access, this software is more advanced. Furthermore, you can also merge scripts and views of linked entities or groups.

Disadvantages of Microsoft SQL Server

  • One of Microsoft SQL’s significant cons is that data maintenance can be tiresome with a particular schema.
  • More so, long queries’ execution takes longer than the desired time.

What to Expect of Microsoft SQL Server

First, you need to connect to a SQL Server before creating a data warehouse system’s management of your database.

It is also regarded as one of the best database software for Mac 2021, unlike before when you needed a virtual machine to run the database application successfully.

Continue using Microsoft SQL Server by creating a table for your new database. While in the table, insert rows.

Finally, you must query the new table and view the outcome. You can use the query window table to verify your connection properties.

Pricing of Microsoft SQL Server

You can install Microsoft SQL Express and Developer versions free of cost.  However, the paid plan starter package is available for 931 dollars. Even so, this is a one-time cost.

4. Teradata

Despite being one of the oldest database software, Teradata is trusted and used by top companies. Some of which include, The American Red Cross, Whole Foods Market Inc, and Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Teradata boasts of superior processing speed to export and import all data types reliably. You can use this software to manage complex data queries. It also reduces the data warehouse system’s management and saves on processing time.

Teradata works on Windows and Linux platforms and is categorized as one of the best database software for beginners.

Main Features of Teradata

  • Scalable – this software offers various compatibility options and comes with pre-created functionalities.
  • Flexibility – Teradata allows you to analyze and export your business data at any time. More so, you can process your data on-premise or from Cloud storage.
  • Fast and Efficient – Teradata processes data at high speed even when handling multiple query requests simultaneously.
  • Parallel – this feature allows other database software for investigation and data incorporation.

Advantages of Teradata

  • It leverages elaborate permission controls to gather and track your data. Teradata makes it easier to locate your data at all times by processing data in real-time.
  • More so, you can share and allocate large databases at high speed. It allows other network users to access reports with ease.
  • The data analytics feature enables you to process complex and important operational reports for your business.
  • Teradata’s data resiliency features allow the system to run without interruptions. This feature makes it one of the best database software to use in 2021.

Disadvantages of Teradata

  • Teradata’s third-party tools are not responsive. Therefore, the software is not reusable.
  • This software is more costly when compared to similar Relational Database Management Systems on the market.

What to Expect When Starting Up Teradata Database

Before installing Teradata, your computer needs to meet the flexible and scalable tool. There are various steps to getting started on Teradata database software. Setting up Teradata can be a long and tiresome procedure. It is wise to seek help from an expert database manager.

The initial steps are simple.  You need to download the required VMware version from the official Teradata website. After downloading, you must extract the zipped file and save it in a specified or target folder.

Furthermore, you also need to download the VMware workstation player and install the software before running the VMware client.

The succeeding steps are complex but automated. You may require some programming knowledge or an expert to help you get your Teradata server started.

Pricing of Teradata Database

Teradata offers four simplified packages. These bundles depend on your workload profiles. You only pay for what you need.

5. Improvado

When working with real-time data, you need a flexible and scalable tool. Improvado is one of the best database software for small businesses you can use to achieve your goals.  This software is a middleware database solution that you can use to combine all your marketing data.

It is best-loved for automating troublesome data without any manual assistance. This software saves you time by eliminating about 90 percent of manual reporting hours per week.

Some of the notable companies that use Improvado DBMS include Coca-Cola, AdRoil, Asus, Blink, and Ancestry.

Key Features of Improvado

  • Reporting: Improvado boasts of an elaborate reporting mechanism. This system helps you reduce manual report generation by over 90 percent.
  • Integration: It allows incorporation with various third-party tools like Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Excel, MailChimp, and BigQuery.
  • Cost-Effective: It is easy to learn and to use. You do not need to invest in an SQL developer to understand how Improvado works.
  • Data visualization:  Improvado provides you easy access to visuals through an intuitive dashboard. You can extract and send various data sets to visualization tools like Google Sheets and Google Data Studio.

Advantages of Improvado

  • Improvado provides you with the best tool to use when it comes to decision-making. This software offers you the side-by-side observation of metrics for fast decision-making.
  • More so, Improvado database software allows you to move your data and match the real-time data immediately. More so, you can use this tool to have all your marketing data in one place.
  • This software’s clean interface provides easy navigation controls. It allows you to have systematic access to changes in multiple projects.
  • With Improvado, you get error-free data analytics and well-organized database documentation.
  • Besides providing backup software, it also offers you data recovery options.
  • Most importantly, you get a quick response and customer support from a professional team.

Disadvantage of Improvado

The system does not grant you access to the latest analytical observation entries.

What to Expect of Improvado

With the help of a setup wizard, you can help navigate options or create your report. Even so, you must answer the pop-up questions to help the system personalize your reports.

There are three simple steps to help you with your data. First, you need to choose data sets and dimensions through various integrated partners.

Next, the system will ask you to select how you want your data. You react by clicking on options that appear in the pop-up window. One example includes pressing the Facebook logo and entering your credentials.  This step connects your Facebook advertising campaign data.

Finally, you will be required to choose how you wish to observe your data.

Pricing of Improvado

Improvado offers the Enterprise database software edition with customized pricing for small businesses. However, the Business package is available for 100 dollars per month. This offer includes all the perks you require for your workflow.

If you are new to database software, you can take advantage of the demo version to learn more about Improvado.

6. Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

This RDS is the best database software for small businesses, professional data scientists, individual users, and other digital-native companies. Amazon RDS is a well-built and proficient relational Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) that equals other providers from Amazon web Services.

Features of Amazon RDS

  • Secure data backups: Amazon RDS contains dedicated secure connectivity that backs up your data automatically. This pre-created feature does not require manual effort to save your database.
  • Flexibility: You can adjust computing resources or increase the database’s storage through a single API call.
  • Easy to use: You do not require expert programming knowledge to use Amazon RDS. Some of its features work in similarity with those in Oracle, MySQL, or Microsoft SQL server database engine.

Advantages of Amazon RDS

  • Cost-effective: It is common to find database software users paying for resources that remain unused throughout the lease period.  However, with Amazon RDS, payment is only made for what you only use at any given time.
  • Saves time: This system enables you to process heavy workloads in a single database system.
  • Easy access: With Amazon RDS, other databases like Oracle and Microsoft SQL are easily accessible.
  • Stability: This software gives you high database performance with various control tools and features.

Disadvantages of Amazon RDS

  • Amazon RDS offers limited auto-scale potential and is more costly than other database management systems like MySQL and Knack.
  • Furthermore, the absence of physical servers makes it impossible for you to check server logs.

Pricing of Amazon RDS

You only get invoiced for those resources that you use. However, you can also use the free to try version to familiarize yourself with Amazon RDS features.

7. PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is one of the best database software for small businesses you need to consider if you are looking for a data modeling solution. It is also known as Postgres. This open-source tool relational database emphasizes SQL compliance and extensibility.

Postgres is the default database for macOS Server. It also runs on Windows, Linux, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD platforms. It is considered one of the best database software for beginners.

Furthermore, this software prides itself on secure connectivity abilities with various database technologies. PostgreSQL has a wide range of tools that support the development of databases in both the cloud and traditional deployments.

Main Features of PostgreSQL

  • Scalable – It has a high processing speed and allows data to be replicated.
  • Integration – works together with various database products and other database options.
  • Efficient – PostgreSQL software executes multiple queries faster than other distributed database software like Teradata. You can also write select or action queries in HTML, PDF XML, or Excel formats.
  • Feature –Rich – You can easily access all of your company’s other integrated features and similar databases. Examples include SQL worksheets, database object development, DBA controls, database utilities, and many more.

Advantages of PostgreSQL

  • It enables you to process complex data types like maps and graphs.
  • PostgreSQL allows you to simplify data management and permits you to interact with various database technologies. It also has an inbuilt easy to use and navigate interface.
  • It offers you full ACID compliance and also supports heavy workloads.
  • PostgreSQL, a database management tool, is scalable and allows replication.
  • This software provides top-notch customer support to help with various types of errors or bug issues.

Disadvantages of PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL is comparatively slow when reading database files.
  • One major drawback with PostgreSQL is that the expandable document is only available in English.

Pricing of PostgreSQL

Besides being one of the best software you can use in 2021, PostgreSQL is also entirely free of cost.

8. Oracle Database

Besides creating database storage structures, you can engage Oracle software for running online transaction processing. More so, you may use it for data warehousing and mixed database workloads. It is the best database software for seasoned programmers.

Oracle is an object-relational Database Management System. As one of the best database software for Mac 2021, it helps you control the organization, storage, and retrieval of data.

Main Features of Oracle Database

  • Flexibility -this database software can run on smaller computers or even more complex supercomputers with the same efficiency.
  • High performance -the Oracle database software allows for simultaneous execution of union branches to minimize query processing time and wait time.
  • Pluggable Databases -reduce the risk of data consolidation and decreases resource consumption. Furthermore, Oracle allows separate backup and recovery of the pluggable database.
  • Efficient -provides higher security features and executes your online database software with speed.

 Advantages of Oracle Database

  • Oracle’s Smart features help developers work with precision and efficiency.
  • Oracle provides maximum data security and a well-structured transactional process.
  • This software also offers structured and well-organized queries.

Furthermore, Oracle provides excellent support for smooth integration with other platforms. This feature assists with the development of applications with different technologies

Disadvantages of Oracle Database

  • Oracle’s pricing plan is out of reach for individual startups or small businesses.
  • Besides the outdated database design, this database software allows the client application to get automatically plugged in.
  • It is slower than other database systems when processing stored procedures. More so, it spends a lot of resources.

What to Expect When Starting Up Oracle Database

There are three steps to get your Oracle database ready for system use. You may find it necessary to ask a database administrator to help you through these steps.

  • First, you need to start an instance. This procedure enables you to allocate a set of memory structures to manage your database files.
  • Secondly, you need to mount the database. This process involves the opening and reading of files.
  • Finally, you can open the database. You do this by making a closed database available across the general use network. You can complete this action by executing the required Oracle statement and Open clause.

Experts also regard Oracle to be the best database software for small business.

Pricing of Oracle Database

Pricing depends on the size and type of business you have. Other factors to be considered during pricing include your IT platforms and on-disk modes existing software in use.

9. Altibase

Altibase is scalable database software. This system can handle a growing amount of work by putting more resources into the system. Altibase is the best database software because it can execute both primary and on-disk modes.

This free software is also an enterprise-grade relational database. It integrates with other systems such as SQL and JSON without complexity. More so, it is fast and flexible.

Prominent corporations like Hyundai, Samsung, and HP use Altibase database software.

Main Features of Altibase

  • Highly Available: It enables you to work on highly partitioned tables and transfer data from memory tablespace to disk and vice-versa.
  • Flexible Deployment:  This software offers you three types of deployment modes. The first one is the In-memory only mode depends on the main memory for computer data storage.
    • The second is the On-disk mode, where all data is stored exclusively on the disk. It is moved to the main memory only when needed.
    • Lastly, the Hybrid mode includes both memory and disk. You can store and process data either on the on-disk or in the main memory, or both.

  • Sharding: Altibase allows the distribution of data among multiple machines. This feature enables you to store more data and handle additional requests with ease. The Sharding feature permits a database to expand without being hampered.

Advantages of Altibase

  • It is an open-source database management system that is flexible and user-friendly.
  • You can use Altibase across various industries including, finance, manufacturing, telecom, and public service.
  • The software’s inbuilt features provide relational capabilities to support enterprise-grade applications.
  • Migration from your older databases is less complicated and cuts down on implementation and maintenance costs.
  • Because Altibase is SQL and ACID compliant, it can work jointly with Oracle.

Disadvantages of Altibase

  • This database software does not support Server and Client for Windows.
  • It slows down data processing in the event of a configuration error.
  • Moreover, this software does not have an inbuilt GUI management tool and doesn’t support mobile access.

What to Expect When Starting Up Altibase Database

After downloading the package installer from Altibase’s official website, there are steps to follow. Even so, you need to ensure that you select an installer that is suitable for your preferred operating system.

Start by running the package installer. This step will automate other procedures. It will include creating mainframe technology, the Altibase home directory, data creation script, etc.

Finally, you can start to create a database after the installation process is complete.

Pricing of Altibase

You do not incur subscription fees or any other charges. This open-source database software is cost-effective for starters and small-scale businesses.

10. IBM Db2

What makes IBM Db2 one of the best database software to use in 2021 is the high speed at which your data gets processed. It provides solutions for the operational database, data warehouse, and fast data. Db2 is ideal for rigorous and demanding workloads.

Main Features of IBM Db2

  • Task Scheduler: This feature is automated. It enables the system to gather statistics and reorganize indexes and tables. It allows this process to be complete without manual interaction.
  • Supports Legacy Software: It supports older versions like Java tools by consolidating the mainframe’s technology.
  • XML Support: It reduces the time spent to create, structure, and leverage XML data. This easy-to-use feature helps you reduce development costs and improve your business.
  • High Availability: It supports NEARSYNC and SYNC HADR models to retain multiple options and establish a high uptime ratio.

Advantages of IBM Db2

  • The flexibility of Db2 enables this database software to operate seamlessly on both private and cloud environments.
  • Db2 makes data segregation easier. It enables partitioning as a result of table space usage and automatic storage.
  • IBM Db2 comes with in-built AI-dedicated capabilities. More so, this feature allows you to structure and manage compound data.
  • It provides a structured command-line interface that allows smooth administration.
  • Besides being secure database software, Db2 also offers stability and low maintenance costs. Furthermore, it integrates with multiple platforms, languages, and workloads.
  • One of the most commendable aspects of Db2 is its ability to distribute and recall exact locations.  This system enables you to trace and track the location of your data.

Disadvantages of IBM Db2

  • IBM Db2 licensing fee is higher than a majority of similar database software. The escalating license costs expose starters and small businesses to financial threats.
  • This database software requires expertise to operate. Non-developers can find it challenging to navigate the DBMS features because of advanced complexities.

Pricing of IBM Db2

The standard edition is available at 1,850 dollars, while the advanced plan costs 7,800 per virtual processor core (VPC) for 90 days.

However, you can download the free-to-use community version.

11. MongoDB

MongoDB is one of the best database software that is document-oriented. This database software is best for high-capacity data storage. This open-source database was founded in the mid-2000s, and it runs on Windows and Linux systems.

Some notable companies that use MongoDB include Uber, Lyft, and Delivery Hero.

MongoDB is, without a doubt, one of the best database software for beginners.

Main Features of MongoDB

  • Easy storage – this software employs JSON documents to store tables in an organized and easy-to-access manner.
  • Management tooling and Monitoring: It allows you to monitor the number of users logged into the database at scheduled intervals. It also enables you to integrate with other third-party surveillance solutions.
  • Security – MongoDB has a powerful query language and also offers end-to-end security.
  • Backup – the ability to restore data quickly is a big boon to MongoDB. The loss of data can derail a process, but a quick recovery procedure helps you save time.
  • Scalable allows horizontal scalability and distributes data across different machines on the network.
  • Fully Elastic – MongoDB’s in-build features allow the system to handle several databases simultaneously.

Advantages of MongoDB

  • MongoDB is easy to learn and use tool for both developers. However, it still allows you to process advanced and compound requirements of any magnitude. More so, MongoDB offers drivers for over ten languages.
  • This tool comes with built-in high availability, geographic disposition, and horizontal scaling features that are simple to use.
  • Your data is secured and stored in a unique Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). It also ensures your data files are encrypted at all times. More so, this tool allows you to have access control over your data.  

What to Expect When Starting Up MongoDB Database

If you are new to MongoDB, it may take you between 2-5 days to learn how to use this software.  You do not require any license to use MongoDB. More so, the security settings of this tool allow anyone full access.

You need to install the software and get the software running. Your tasks will include listing databases, creating a database, and inserting data. More so, you will also need to query data and update documents.

MongoDB is faster and more scalable than a majority of NoSQL databases. However, it can experience data breaches, and servers can be overwhelmed by requests or misuse. It is not appropriate for use on more complex data types.

Despite these challenges, MongoDB remains one of the best database software for small business.

Pricing of MongoDB

MongoDB is free of cost. You can download and use it without a subscription.

12. Cassandra

Cassandra is a free-to-use tool used to process voluminous data across various servers. More so, this software supports replicating across multiple datacenters. It also provides users with a cloud database version.

It is the best database software for individuals looking for variety and high availability without compromising performance. Furthermore, it supports multiple languages like SQL, Python, C++, and Node JS.

Main Features of Cassandra

  • Cassandra is a high fault-tolerance system – It allows replication of databases to multiple nodes.
  • Third-party service – the system supports contracts and other services.
  • No network bottleneck – it places every node in the cluster separately.

Benefits of Cassandra

  • One of the benefits of Cassandra is the continuous data availability feature. Furthermore, its high performance and in-built fault tolerance are valuable features.
  • It boasts of a fast write speed. Cassandra’s unique architecture allows the system to be super-fast while writing data.
  • Cassandra provides you an easy transition from legacy databases. The query language is part of SQL.
  • This database software provides consistency during data replication. More so, you can adjust this tool for a specific data set to be available during a partial data failure.
  • Cassandra provides room for horizontal expansion and can also run on commodity hardware.

Disadvantages of Cassandra

  • One of the main hiccups is the inefficiency of the tools responsible for grouping multiple rows to form a single summary.
  • It is cumbersome to move data fromCassandra to a relational database platform. Sometimes, performance can be unpredictable.
  • Query requests issued concerning a current situation do not perform well. However, queries planned during the design stage are executed with precision.

What to Expect When Starting Up Cassandra Database

You need to have two computers to set up a Cassandra cluster. More so, there is no central master between the two machines. However, the two must be connected for the pair to work together.

Experts consider Cassandra one of the best database software for beginners.

There are three aspects to note when you start up the Cassandra database. These include seeds, listen-address, and endpoint snitch.

  • Seeds – these are nodes that Cassandra uses to find other nodes at the start of the process. Only one machine is sufficient to be the seed. Therefore, you only need to set the IP address on one device.
  • Listen-address – this is the IP address for Cassandra to run.
  • Endpoint snitch – It shows where to route data and redirect replicas. The system does not allow you to put a copy on the same physical storage point.

Pricing of Cassandra

Cassandra is available for free. It is effective for startups and small businesses.

12. CouchDB

CouchDb is a NoSQL document-oriented database that allows you to collect and store data in JSON-based formats. It is a schema-free data model which eases record management across computing devices. This software is founded on common standards to access your data files.

More so, CouchDB is compatible with multiple languages. It uses JSON for data storage processes and JavaScript as its query language.

CouchDB is one of the best database software for beginners to use in 2021. It is simple to use, and you can store your data on a local server or with any other service provider.

Main Features of CouchDB

  • Flexibility – you can save your data redundantly and merge it within your data management infrastructure.
  • High speed – provides fast indexing, updates, deletion, and retrieval.
  • JSON-based document – simplifies processes across different languages.
  • Reliability – allows easy replication of a database over collective server instances.
  • Language – provides you with various libraries for your desired language.

Advantages of CouchDB

  • CouchDB enables clustering and Sharding of objects between instances. It does not require a load balancer to decide where the request should go.
  • It enables sync with web browsers. You can keep a synced copy of your database on a local device for fast and easy data access when you are offline.
  • This software allows you to subscribe to updates. This tool helps you stay up to date with the latest CouchDB advancements, which improves system performance.
  • The system allows you to share information. This software feature promotes consistency between hardware or software components, which improves accessibility.
  • CouchDB enables you to manage your data across numerous computing devices, web browsers, and mobile phones. It also allows you to store serialized objects as qualitative data in JSON formatted documents.

Disadvantages of CouchDB

  • The map-reduce functions can be exhausting for first-time users.
  • CouchDB nodes cannot share computed view data through replication in clustered mode.
  • JSON format documents are somewhat obscure. The replication can consume more storage than necessary.
  • HTTP data type headers are not set to application/JSON, which gives you an error when you make browser requests.

What to Expect When Starting Up CouchDB

CouchDB does not have a cloud version. Nevertheless, it offers the flexibility for storing your data. Furthermore, NoSQL databases have diverse schemas for quantitative data. This aspect can be a challenge for RDBMS users.

When getting started with CouchDB, you expect your databases to be document-based, graphs, maps, or a wide-column store.

You may require some training if you are new to CouchDB. However, you can seek an expert to help you set up CouchDB.

Pricing of CouchDB

It is open-source software. CouchDB allows you to download and use it without cost.

13. MariaDB

It is a relational database management system. MariaDB’s operating system includes Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is one of the best database software to use in 2021, which permits the Galera cluster technology.

With NoSQL support from Cassandra, MariaDB enables developers to run SQL and NoSQL in a single database system.

Main Features of MariaDB

  • MariaDB operates under the LGPL or BSD licenses.
  • Multiple storage options – It provides many storage engines, including high-performance ones. It works together with other database systems that store data in organized tables. It also supports TokuDB, which can manage voluminous data for larger companies.
  • Flexibility – MariaDB supports various programming languages which allow it to run different operating systems.
  • Scalable – it allows high expandability through easy coordination between systems.

Advantages of MariaDB

  • MariaDB offers you a variety of tools to use in an organized layout. It provides easy navigation between features.
  • It offers instant drop column operation. You can add columns with ease and make ad hoc changes.
  • Passwords can be overwhelming; even so, MariaDB offers you an option for expiring user passwords.
  • MariaDB gains from a new Galera version with tools like replication and streaming.
  • This software comes with well-organized documentation to help you learn more about its features. More so, the system goes through constant evaluation, and you get access to new updates.
  • MariaDB database management system provides data processing capabilities for mall and enterprise tasks.

Disadvantages of MariaDB

  • Migration of database files from MySQL to MariaDB is cumbersome and often results in an error.
  • It is difficult to recover data if replication fails. However, this error does not occur often.
  • Sometimes, you may encounter minor bugs in the MariaDB version with newer updates.

What to Expect When Starting Up MariaDB

MariaDB allows you to download and install locally. Even so, you must ensure to do this from a recommended source.  The software comes with step-by-step instructions that you can follow if you are already in the database software business.

Nevertheless, you can learn the basics of how to create, select, insert and update data on MariaDB in 2-5 days.

 After you familiarize yourself with the basic tasks, you can get started with MariaDB in the Cloud. You must add, delete and change data. Some other processes are pre-set and can be automated to give you your desired results.

It is also worth noting that the databases and indexes of MariaDB are similar to those of MySQL.  You can migrate from MariaDB to MySQL without changing your software application.

Pricing of MariaDB

MariaDB usage is free-to-use for three or fewer servers. You will be required to pay for what you use if you have more than three servers.

14. SQLite Database Software

SQLite is relational database software written in C language and is a compact library. This DBMS is not a client-server storage engine. However, it integrates into the end program. It is reliable and implements a self-contained, zero-configuration complete SQL database engine.

SQLite operates on various platforms such as Android, Blackberry, Solaris 10, Windows, Symbian, MeeGo, and many others. More so, it has a Cloud version.

Features of SQLite Database Software

  • Lightweight – It is best known for being lightweight compared to SQL Server or Oracle.
  • In-memory – SQLite comes with an in-memory available for use without installation or configuration.
  • Reliability – It updates your files constantly so that you do not lose much time or data in case of a power outage.

Advantages of SQLite Database Software

  • It does not require installation. You don’t need to configure SQLite to use it.
  • It is cost-effective and also very fast. A majority of DBMS with Cloud versions have reduced costs and offer high speed.
  • SQLite does not require a dedicated server for storing your files. Your data is stored directly on the hard disk of your local computer.
  • You are likely to experience fewer bugs because SQLite queries are much smaller than similar procedural codes.
  • It is compatible with most programming languages, including C++, Java, Python, PHP, and C#.
  • SQLite can be used across all 32-bit and 64-bit platforms and big-and little-endian architecture.

Disadvantages of SQLite Database Software

  • One of the major drawbacks is that the database size cannot exceed 2GB.
  • SQLite is best for managing low to medium-traffic HTTP requests.

What to Expect When Starting Up SQLite

Before you get started, you must download the SQLite code from the public domain. You use this code to gain access to the tools of the program.

Some of the tasks you can expect to do at the start of SQLite include setting queries, sorting rows, filtering data, joining tables, and grouping data. You will also be required to set operators, change and define your data.

If you are new, you will need to go through tutorials. This tool can help you learn how to apply SQLite to your database software development system.

Pricing of SQLite Database Software

The SQLite database management system code is available in the public domain. Therefore, it is free for use by individuals for private or commercial purposes.  

15. Firebird SQL

Firebird is an open-source relational database management system. It runs on various platforms like Microsoft Windows, macOS, HP-UX, Solaris, and AIX. This software is written in C/C++ and COBOL languages and is available in the Cloud version.

Experts have categorized Firebird as the best database software for small businesses.

Features of Firebird SQL

  • Scalable –a Firebird super server can allow between 150 – 400 concurrent connections. Nevertheless, various operating systems, including Firebird, have a limit of 1024 connections per TCP/IP port.
  • Easy Installation – Firebird runs on a variety of operating systems.
  • Robust data engine – It comes with two utilities for backing up and restoring your data. These tools allow you to back up databases while users remain logged into the system.
  • It functions well for both small and medium businesses and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to process.

Advantages of Firebird SQL

  • Unlike MS SQL that only runs on Windows NT/2000, Firebird is flexible. It operates on various platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.
  • It is faster than MySQL and can be relied on to process databases at high speed.
  • Firebird offers excellent backup tools that are easy to use.

Disadvantages of Firebird SQL

  • Security issues may arise because user accounts get stored in a central database.
  • Firebird does not support integration and replication.

What to Expect When Starting Up Firebird

It is easy to install. You can deploy it on Mac, Windows, Cloud SaaS, and Android platforms. Even so, you may find it challenging if you are a new user. However, a live online tutorial and user documentation can help you get started.

However, it is worth noting that Firebird 3 won’t open databases from previous versions. More so, Firebird cannot run from a CD ROM drive. Your data must reside on a hard drive connected to the host machine.

Pricing of Firebird SQL

Firebird has a free trial, and a free-to-use version is also available. However, other versions are available and priced per feature.

16. MySQL

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MySQL is a SQL (Structured Query Language) based open-source relational database management system. It helps in the orderly organization of your business data. It is a popular, reliable, and fast tool to access, edit, and monitor database content. The software allows several users to have free access to various databases.

MySQL is one of the best database software runs on UNIX, Windows, and Mac OS with ease. It is well-known for its processing speed.

Key Features of MySQL

  • Ease of Use – The software is extremely simple to download and use.
  • High performance – It provides a variety of memory cache and fast loading utilities.
  • Complete Data Security – The database can only be accessed by authorized users. The data is completely secure.
  • Compatibility – MySQL works on all modern platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Unix.
  • Scalable – It allows you to scale at any time. It is extremely simple to build data warehouses that contain massive amounts of data.
  • Low-cost – It is completely free to use.

Advantages of MySQL

  • MySQL is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System), which means it stores and displays data in a tabular format with rows and columns.
  • MySQL is a simple and easy database management system. With just a clear understanding of MySQL and a few simple SQL statements, you can create and communicate with MySQL.
  • It’s not too heavy, which means it won’t eat up your computer’s memory or CPU usage; MySQL doesn’t require a lot of your computer’s resources. 
  • There are numerous database management tools for creating, modeling SQL development, importing, exporting, and so on.
  • Integration with development tools and environments is simple, as is a connection with various programming languages.
  • MySQL allows you to run the client and server on the same computer or separate computers and connect to each other over the internet or a private network.
  • MySQL Database is scalable, with a capacity of more than 50 million rows. It is sufficient to deal with almost any amount of data. Even though the default file size limit is 4GB, it can be increased to 8TB.
  • MySQL is very flexible since it supports a wide range of embedded applications.
  • It has a unique storage engine architecture that makes it faster, less expensive, and more reliable.
  • MySQL offers enterprises significant cost savings by ensuring proper management and reliability.

Disadvantages of MySQL

  • In comparison to paid databases, MySQL does not have good development and debugging tool.
  • Since MySQL is inefficient at handling transactions, it is prone to data corruption.
  • Correlated subqueries are okay, but non-correlated subquery handling is quite poor.

What to Expect When Starting Up MySQL

Start by gathering requirements, defining your database’s goal, and then drafting sample input forms, queries, and reports.

Once you’ve decided on the purpose of the database, collect the data that will be stored in it. Separate the information into subject-specific tables.

Then, Choose one column (or a few columns) to serve as the primary key, uniquely identifying each row.

Next, create relationships between your tables. The most important aspect of designing a relational database is determining the relationships between tables.

Finally, refine and normalize the design by adding more columns and a new table for optional data using one-to-one correspondence.

Pricing of MySQL

You can install MySQL (Structured Query Language) versions free of cost.  MySQL’s paid plans, on the other hand, start at $0.18. MySQL offers four different plans:

  • MySQL Cloud Service is available for $0.18 per month.
  • MySQL Standard Edition (Web and End Users) is available for $2000 per year.
  • MySQL Enterprise Edition (Web and End Users) is available for $5000 per year.
  • MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition (Web and End Users) at $10,000 per year.

MySQL also provides a customized plan based on the needs of the customer.


The dissemination of information is a vital aspect of every business or organization. Today, digital transformation has enabled companies to create relevant information at every touch-point.

The best database software is one that helps you store, input, manipulate and organize your information, whether you need customer data or marketing automation.

The 16 best database software, free database software, relational databases for enterprise and small business, I’ve discussed are all worth considering when planning your next information management project.

As you can see there is a wide range of options to choose from so it will be up to you to decide which one best suits the needs of your company.

Which do you think should take top place on my list?


Best Database Software in 2021
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