best databases

Best Databases for Mobile App Development – Free Database Software

Mobile technology has incomprehensibly revolutionized the entire world. According to a recent study, it was revealed that approximately 230 billion mobile apps were downloaded globally. As users look forward to having immersive experiences through their mobiles, companies and businesses have launched a mobile app version. This has allowed them to explore a greater section of the audience and earn more leads and an improved conversion ratio. 

However, developing a mobile app is not an easy task. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. The entire software development life cycle entails many tasks, from designing the user interface to deploying the codebases to the desired environments. During the development process, one needs to use different software applications to process requests, handle memory allocation, etc. 

Amidst all these, the most important task is to store all data related to the mobile application. Data has played a major role in bringing change and transforming the traditional way of doing business. You cannot allow just any software integrated within the concerning mobile application. You must look through various database management programs to ensure that all mobile datasets are stored securely and safely. 

What is a Mobile App Database?

Before introducing you to the types of databases or their utilities, we would like to explain what this software is and how it works. A mobile app database is a simple software that can store different types of data your mobile interacts with. It can be phone call records, any in-app purchase details, the number of locks and unlock actions, files, etc. 

These databases ensure any person having Access can fetch the desired record for future analysis or reference. With the help of this kind of software, companies can find out trends and patterns to ensure their application is working as per expectations and delivering outstanding results. If the obtained results and predictive models have a huge gap, businesses can easily work on developing strategies to bridge the gap. 

So, a mobile database application acts as a storehouse and will also help in analytical purposes. 

Working on a Mobile Database Application

Unlike websites and web-based apps, mobile applications do not communicate with database applications directly. Instead, data transfer takes place through a mobile computing network. A mobile computing network comprises several host modules where the application runs and a wired network of machines. 

These units interact with each other to build routing and processing queries. Data fetched is stored in an external location for the time being. The mobile app can easily collect information from the source when needed. The reverse process is followed when new data records have to be inserted into the database tables. 

Related Post: Mobile App Development Process – A Step By Step Guide 2022

What Are The Types of Mobile App Databases?

There are different types of database applications that can be integrated with mobile apps. Each DB is configured to perform a specific set of functions. Hence, you need to choose the right type of DB based on the app requirements and the way of working. Since you need to know how different types of databases work, we have described them briefly below. 

Distributed database

Distributed database

From the name itself, you can understand that data will be stored across multiple computers in the same physical location or a connected network of several computers at different locations in a distributed database.

Relational database

Relational database

Predefined links are established between different tables, columns, and rows in the relational database. You will automatically access all other tables connected to it when you access a certain table. One of the main features of the relational database is the arrangement of tables in a hierarchical manner. Therefore, a table can have only child tables, parent tables, or both.

Centralized database

Centralized database

Centralized databases are exactly the opposite of distributed networks. A single database server needs to be accessed via several computers or machines. You won’t be able to access the data until the system is connected to the organizational network having the database server. 

Cloud database

Cloud database

One of the newest and most preferred databases that mobile app developers opt for is the cloud database. Hosted on popular cloud servers, these DBs can help you store and access data from remote locations. One of the main advantages of a cloud database is it offers an exceptional benefit of scalability. You can increase or decrease the storage space on-the-fly. 

NoSQL database 

NoSQL database 

Unlike relational databases, NoSQL databases do not store the collected data in a structured format. There is almost no relationship between different tables, so finding the right table requires a high-level routing query. 

What Are The Utility and Benefits of Mobile App Databases? 

Before you decide whether you need to invest money and effort in looking for the best database software, don’t you think knowing about its benefits might help you have a different perspective? 

It would! 

Most of us believe that a database is required only for websites and desktop applications since they have to handle a myriad of datasets. However, that’s not the truth because mobile apps also play a crucial role in dealing with real-time customer information. 

Besides, the usage of mobile apps has surged high in recent times. Thus, if you do not include any mobile app database, you might have to suffer from data theft, redundant records, and poor performance. Keeping the consequences in mind, we have explained a couple of benefits you can enjoy with the database. 

  1. Improves data storage facilities 

One of the prime reasons for using a database for a mobile app is the collection and safe storage of different types of datasets. While many startup companies decide to utilize the storage property of Microsoft Access, it is not the best option. DataData stored in Access can easily get corrupted. 

Owing to this, using a database for mobile applications sounds like the best idea. It is a dedicated storage platform where you can keep all types of datasets without concern over their integrity and safety. 

  1. Acts as a future reference 

To introduce changes in mobile applications, professionals need to derive information from different datasets. Thus, if data is not stored properly, your app’s failure to meet customer demands is high. This is because the developers or analysts won’t have any reference point in the future. 

On the contrary, if you keep all these datasets stored in the database platform, anyone with Access can fetch details, analyze the patterns or trends, and provide input in decision-making. 

  1. Protects the asset from cyber crimes

Cybercrimes are increasing daily. These are not inevitable, and you may have to succumb to its clutches at one point or the other. So, you must take all possible steps to protect the datasets and prevent the chances of corruption or data theft. Fortunately, a database system acts as a protector for all data sets. 

It will not only collect the data safely and store them with complex computing algorithms, but the software will prevent Access to any unauthorized user. Most databases come with an in-built protection system. You can easily implement one or two more security layers

 to secure the system further. 

Maintains data integrity and standard

We mean the relevance and accuracy of collected and sorted datasets by data integrity and standards. If you choose the wrong DB or delay integrating this third-party software, your data will most be impacted. Redundancies will be established, duplicate records will be created, and the relationship between different datasets might blur. 

Owing to this reason, you must use an appropriate open-source database. This software will keep all your collected datasets safe from corruption, inaccuracy, and duplicity. 

What are the Best Databases for Mobile Apps? 

There are a lot of database applications that you can use for mobile apps. While most platforms can also be used for websites and desktop applications, some of them are exclusively configured to be integrated with mobile applications. 

So, to keep you updated and aware of these different applications, we have explained a couple of the top databases that have become quite popular in 2022. 

1. Oracle

Oracle databases

One of the most extensively used database platforms is Oracle. Almost everyone prefers to use Oracle instead of any other DB, from individuals to organizations. It is a relational database with structured queries. All tables are connected with other in a hierarchical pattern, ensuring users can easily retrieve the data through keys. 

Thanks to its compatibility with C, Java, and C++, the database management software can be used with various mobile applications, from payment apps to ecommerce. One of the best parts of Oracle is its extendibility function for synchronizing with JSON structures. 

2. MySQL

MySQL databases

MySQL is one of the databases popular for web and mobile applications. It comes with several advanced features that make data storage and processing much easier and more flexible. Being a structured relational database, all the tables are connected through the keys. Queries are executed automatically for fetching data, adding new records, creating proper data versioning, and so on. 

It comes with access control features, ensuring your data is safe from threats. It is also available in different versions, each with specific features that will help you find the most compatible versions for mobile applications. 

3. PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL databases

If you are looking for a database management program with applications developed from different frameworks, PostgreSQL is the best choice. It is a structured database that supports different data structures, from linked lists to queues. This is why it can be used for synchronizing a wide range of mobile applications like gaming applications, ecommerce platforms, and so on. 

However, the best part of PostgreSQL is its compatibility with ReactJS, iOS, Android, and so on. Thanks to the loaded features and the ability to store a wide range of data, managing your mobile app records is no longer a problem. Just make sure that all the tables are optimized to avoid the creation of multiple data versioning and errors while storing the data. 

4. MongoDB

MongoDB databases

Suitable for ReactJS and NodeJS mobile applications, MongoDB is based on a database’s unstructured, NoSQL form. It has high-level flexibility that allows easier and faster operations on different datasets. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about data storage and fetching when needed. However, MongoDB is wonderful is its ability to handle multiple types of data structures, from trees to hash programs. 

There is no need to process data mapping in different layers, thereby ensuring you don’t have to perform additional work with this database. One of its unique features is predictive caching, which will help you create a temporary caching layer and reduce the load on the database. Recurrently fetched data can be stored easily on this caching layer so that users can fetch details easily without waiting for the query execution. 

5. Elasticsearch 

Elasticsearch databases

If you are looking for an open-source database management platform, going with Elasticsearch will be your next best option. This platform helps in dealing with a huge section of datasets simultaneously. Still, it enables you to store different types of datasets in a structured pattern with relational keys that establish a proper hierarchy. 

One of the best features of Elasticsearch is horizontal scaling to ensure you can improve the capacity of the concerned mobile application. To do so, you can use tons of rest API requests and automatic sharing features of the database. Another outstanding feature of this database management platform is its ability to work without incorporating schemas. 

6. Cassandra

Cassandra databases

Used with most mobile applications handling different datasets at once, Cassandra has become quite popular amongst startups and large-scale enterprises. It is hosted on a distributed server with multiple machines connected so that all data can be stored and accessed easily. Apart from this, you won’t have to be within the premise of the server on which the database is hosted, thanks to its decentralized structure.

It can easily resist faults and errors in the data stored within this database, ensuring no multiple data versions are created. With very advanced infrastructure, you won’t have to worry about handling massive datasets associated with your developed mobile application. 

7. OrientDB 

OrientDB databases

When your developed application deals with a wide range of datasets, the major problem you need to deal with is the creation of multiple systems for handling each dataset. If you want to avoid this particular problem, using OrientDB is an ideal solution. It will help you handle a wide range of datasets without creating multiple systems and introducing redundancies and discrepancies in the stored data. 

It will help you store and process graphs, key values, and several documents. With such a wonderful infrastructure, you won’t have to deal with any problems while handling datasets. You can also easily scale your mobile applications and ensure proper advancements and modifications can be incorporated without data restrictions. 

8. SQLite

SQLite databases

Suitable to be used with Python, Ruby, iOS, and ReactJS, SQLite has become one of the topmost databases for enterprises. You can use it with different applications, from gaming software to banking applications. Perhaps that’s the main reason this database management platform can easily help you process and store different datasets simultaneously. After pairing it with any local server-side database, you can reduce the load on its server and ensure latency can be reduced for faster data interaction. 

You don’t need any configuration or setup with this database, ensuring all operations can be conducted smoothly. What makes this program further flexible is the scalability of the connected mobile application in both horizontal and vertical manner. 

9. DynamoDB

DynamoDB databases

Launched from AWS, DynamoDB live up to the users’ expectations by ensuring that different types of datasets can be handled easily. You don’t need a server or any physical storage location to use this database and integrate it with different types of mobile applications. 

What makes this database management platform outstanding is the built-in security systems that will keep your data safe from malware, SQL injection, and other types of threats. Another outstanding feature is the low latency that ensures data can be transmitted to and from the mobile application at the fastest rate. 

Related Post: Mobile App Development in 2022: The Future You Can’t Ignore

How to Choose the Right Database For Your Mobile App?

As there are so many different platforms available, you need to choose the best database management software. If you mistakenly end up with the wrong one, there will be dire consequences. 

For instance, your data privacy might be at risk if you use an obsolete or wrong database. Similarly, your app’s performance might decrease if you integrate it with the wrong DB. So, knowing the factors to be considered while selecting the right database is essential. 

In this following section, we shall illustrate a couple of factors on which your choice of database application will depend. 

Structure of your data

Data structure represents how all information sets are stored in the database. Some of the most popular data structures known to date are: 

  1. Arrays: This is a linear data structure where all information sets are stored in cells. The starting cell has an index of 0, while the last cell has the index of (n-1), where n is the cell number in an array. You can use a 2D or 3D array as per the convenience of your mobile app. 
  2. Linked lists: The linked list is mainly used when you have opted for a relational database. Here, every data is stored in a cell with three nodes. The first node has access to the last list, while the third note points towards the next list. The data is stored at the middle node. 
  3. Stacks: This is a vertical linear data structure following the LIFO method. The last entered data will be fetched first, followed by other information stored in the stack. 
  4. Queues: Queue is one of the most versatile data structures. It acts as LIFO, FILO, FIFO, and LILO. Data can be inserted from either end or both at the same time. 
  5. Trees: Trees are the same as that of a linked list. But here, all data sets will be connected in a hierarchical pattern. This particular structure is mostly followed in relational DB. 
  6. Graphs: The major type of non-linear data structure is termed graphs. Here, data is stored in vertices, interlinked through directional or non-directional arms. 

From the above explanation, it’s clear that different data structures behave differently. Besides, when a mobile application is developed, it stores and fetches data in a structured manner. So, when selecting a specific database program, ensure it aligns with the mobile app’s functioning. 

Size of your data

Another major factor in your choice of database application will depend on the size of the data to be stored. Not all databases have the same storage capacity. You can find software for storing a limited number of datasets and temporary purposes. On the other hand, there are several other software applications where you can store unlimited data without any restriction. 

The size of the data depends on several factors, some of which have been described below: 

  1. Different applications need to store and utilize different types of datasets. Therefore, the overall size will depend on what type of mobile application we are talking about. 
  2. Another major factor on which the data size will depend is the framework on which the software is made. Cross-platform applications require more data than native apps. Similarly, if we consider online apps, the data size will be more than offline applications. 

Based on these two factors, you need to check whether your chosen database application is aligned with the data you are handling or not. It’s better to get a platform with more memory space than less. 

Data modeling

If you look through the databases application, you can notice how they differ in data modeling. It is known as a process in which data will be entered into the database and fetched later. Depending on the process, you need to decide whether the concerned DB in question can satisfy your needs or not. 

For example, when you want to store data in relational tables, you need a relational database. Such software will allow you to design a data model structure where every table will be linked with ease other through a key. Similar records will be created on related tables when data is inserted into one table. 

If your data modeling structure doesn’t match the database functionality you have chosen, your data will get corrupted, but you may also suffer from other consequences. This is why you must ensure that the database chosen can handle the data modeling flowchart you have designed. 

Speed and scale

Indeed, mobile applications cannot interact with databases, unlike websites and desktop applications. But that doesn’t mean you won’t pay attention to the speed of the database and whether it can live up to your expectations or not. If the speed of the application is too high, you need a database allowing read/write functions at an impeccable speed by that of the application. 

If you do not consider the speed, there will be serious consequences like delayed responses from the application, improper data storage with redundant records, duplicated records in multiple tables, and improper data versioning. Apart from considering the speed of the chosen database, you need to consider the scalability. 

At the beginning of the application’s market life, you may need a 7 Gb of storage space database. But with further upgrades or any modified feature, you may have to opt for a database having 10 Gb of memory space. Instead of repeatedly changing the database platform to meet the storage space, you can opt for scalable software. 

With a scalable database, you can easily as for more or less memory anytime, as per your business requirement. This way, you will pay for what you are using, nothing less and nothing more. 

Data security 

No matter whether you want a mobile-based or web-based database application, it is crucial to check whether the data security level is optimal or not. If the chosen database cannot offer the ultimate security and privacy to the data, there is no point in working with it. 

There are many types of threats that a database needs to encounter during its lifecycle. Here are some of the major threats you should be aware of: 

  1. Cyber threats: The major form of risk that you need to be worried about because a hacker can get easy access to all stored datasets concerning user information, financial transactions, company records, and so on. 
  2. SQL injection queries: Sometimes, hackers extend the application’s functionality by writing a query. Under usual circumstances, you won’t be able to identify any such query, and the hacker can get direct access to all stored datasets. 
  3. Butterflow attacks: Let’s consider that you have chosen a fixed-size database, but the total memory occupied by all the collected datasets is way more. So, a certain portion of the datasets will overflow. This will make your database more vulnerable to hacking activities. 

Due to these reasons, you need to pay special attention to your chosen database’s security features. It should have an external layer of encryption that can be 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption. 

You must keep all the accesses disabled when the network is not active. Always use a server that can patch the datasets at a scheduled time and update the records. This way, you can easily know whether redundant or duplicated records are present on any table or not. 

Choice of app platform

This step is crucial when you want to work the popular databases. Applications are constructed with different platforms, from ReactJS to NodeJS, Python, R Programming, etc. Each programming language has a particular data need and deals with the information set differently. Hence, you need to choose the database application based on what type of application platform you are using to develop the concerned software. 

Database Selection According to Use Cases

As there are so many different types of databases, you need to check whether the software concerned will be able to meet all your needs or not. If not, then there is no point in using it further. Choosing the database based on uses is difficult and can be quite confusing. But if you need a guide, the below-mentioned facts will be of great help. 

For highly scalable mobile apps

Scalable mobile applications are those whose functionalities can be changed as per business requirements. For example, when the customer demand is high, or you want to host the app across multiple servers, you can easily modify the codes without writing any new blocks or revamping the entire codebase. 

If we consider databases for scalable mobile applications, you should ensure that the available storage space can be changed according to the application’s requirements. There are several ways in which a database can be scaled. But you need to check whether the given application is compatible with these techniques or not. 

Mobile apps with various data layers

In today’s time, mobile applications aren’t developed with the same age-old single-layered structure. Instead, in most cases, you will find multiple data layers with interactions between them. You need to understand that using common databases like MySQL or PostgreSQL isn’t the right solution for this case. 

These databases are structured. Hence, each table is connected. Data insertion, patching, data deletion, and updates need to be done in a proper structure, thereby reducing the flexibility of operating on datasets, 

This is why non-structured databases are more suitable, especially for mobile applications with various data layers. In this case, you can easily insert data or modify them without suffering from any sort of flexibility issue. 

Data sync between backend server and local DB

Most present-day cloud-based applications need to interact with a local database capable of uploading all new records to the server without any manual push or trigger for the save action. For example, let’s consider OneDrive mobile app. It works on the cloud model and is even hosted on a cloud server. 

In the offline mode, you will be able to edit any document and save it. However, the data will be stored in the local database. Once you have an internet connection, the local database will upload the same data to the cloud server and keep all files in proper sync. 

You have to choose a local database that can interact with the cloud server in the presence of the internet to facilitate data synchronization. 

Resolve data conflict between devices

Many mobile applications run across a wide range of platforms simultaneously. One of such apps’ major problems is creating multiple data versioning in the same DB table. This is why you need to choose an online database software that can easily resolve the conflict and remove multiple data versioning from the tables. This means that no two records will have the same data within the same effective start and end date at a point in time. 

Users with a low network device

The major problem you face when you use online database software is a network connection. If the internet connection is disrupted suddenly, no data will be further stored in the DB. This is why you need to choose software that can utilize data in the best manner and resist the impacts of connection loss easily. 

Pushing database changes and new app updates

Mobile applications constantly need an upgrade to stay up with the user and market demands. Whenever a user sends an update request, new changes are made in the database. Suppose the user database does not support both new and old data versions. In that case, all user data stored in the previous database environment will be wiped off without any prior warning. 

For this reason, you need a database that can identify the update call, check which version the user has asked for, and display data corresponding to that. One of the best examples of databases that will sync with the app version and corresponding data is SQLite and a local server-side database. 

Database Best Practices To Follow

To make the most out of the chosen database, you must implement certain strategies that will help you overcome several hurdles. Apart from this, you can ensure that the connection between mobile applications and the database can be stronger by implementing some of the strategies. So, let’s find out some of the best database practices of result-yielding. 

Consider databases that follow MVCC Method 9

As multiple users will be accessing the databases, you must ensure to choose those applications that allow multiple accesses without any interference with ongoing thread or query execution. This will improve your app’s performance and ensure no more hurdles with the accesses. 

Predictive caching

Database applications like MongoDB can help you cache data and make it available on the local server much before the user has logged into the system. In this method, the database will identify which type of data the user wants and where based on studying behavioral traits. 

Database caching to bring down the load

There are times when several users ask for the same type of data. These recurring requests can reduce the performance of the database since it puts a lot of load on the server. This is why using a caching layer is more feasible. Once a request is sent for the first time, the data will be stored in the cache memory instead of the DB. No additional load will be created on the database, regardless of how many times the recurring requests are sent.  

Low latency challenges 

Latency is defined as the total time taken for the system to transfer requested datasets from source to destination. The higher the latency, the lower the application’s performance, and vice versa. So, you should look for a DB that can offer low latency, less than equal to 500 ms. This is crucial when developing gaming and transactional applications where time matters a lot. 

Final opinion

No matter what type of mobile application you are dealing with, it is important to work with the right type of database. If not, you won’t be able to process the data and store them safely in the concerned database. When you have so many different databases in hand, you need to ensure the chosen software can handle all the required functions like data modification and storage, scalability, and high speed.

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