What is a Database?

Databases are designed to offer an organized mechanism for storing, managing, and retrieving information such as text, numbers, images, audio and video clips. Databases can be as simple as a phonebook, but today’s electronic databases are much more complex. Databases are important because not only do they allow you to collect and store relevant data, but also organize it for in-depth analysis. For example, businesses can keep directories of customer information such as address, phone, and email. As businesses collect more data from their customers, and are collecting new types of data, the corresponding need to store and analyze data has also grown. In recent advancements of technology, the database capacity and processing power has grown exponentially, which means even more information tools and options are available for businesses. Databases may also be used for data driven dynamically built websites, content management systems. Services such as Live Imagination and WordPress use this type of setup to allow website owners to manage their websites without having to edit directly in code.

There are several kinds of databases to choose from depending on your specific needs. Here are some of the more popular web server based databases.

MySQL Database

This is the most popular open source database and relatively easy to launch and utilize for a number of projects. MySQL provides a range of users with a powerful and versatile tool that can be leveraged to handle projects both big and small.

Microsoft SQL Database

This is a very useful and manageable database for those with a Windows server. It is similar to MySQL, handling projects of all sizes.

Percona Database

Percona serves the same basic needs of MySQL, but provides enhanced performance and analysis tools.

Hadoop Database

If you have massive amounts of data to collect and analyze, this database is for you. Built on open source software, Hadoop utilizes cloud computing principles to break down, analyze, and reassign big data into resources you can use to your advantage.

Cassandra Database

This database was built specifically for large, mission critical operations that require real-time analytics.

It’s important to do a careful analysis before you dive in and commit to a database solution, so make sure you do your homework and explore sites for reviews, tutorials, and other articles to help you in your decision.