Databases have become an inescapable reality in the world today. Organizations have a large pool of information stored in millions of databases around the world. If you’re wondering whether or not you need a database for your business, keep reading. This article is meant for you.
What will I use a database for?
Databases have a wide range of uses, especially for web design and development. Even if you are just making a small website for a small number of people, you’d have a database to store information about the content and design of the site. But as a business owner, you probably collect millions of bytes of data in a month – where does it all go?
If you have an online site for instance, there’s data about visitors who have logged in, purchase orders and related information, accounting information, pricing structures, company periodic reports, user account information, among others. As more visitors come into the site, this pool of information grows and needs more elaborate storage to enable strategic planning and analysis.
Without databases, a human being would have to manage all aspects of business information, and this person/people would have to be notified by any user when a change would need to be made on some information stored on the databases. Such changes include additions, deletions and different updates.
Using the database, users who have appropriate permission can be in charge of their own updating processes and the database would automatically reflect changes for other users to have. Typically, databases have an administration team that can be in-house or outsourced to manage the database remotely.
Types of Databases
There are two main types of database management systems (DBMS). DBMS are software programs responsible for retrieving and accessing the actual data being stored to fulfill users’ needs.
These are large scale databases used in big corporations, governments and other large organizations. They are designed to handle extremely large parcels of information flowing in and out. Such programs can handle many concurrent transactions without affecting performance, a character called scalability. Examples of this include DB2 from IBM, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle DBMS.
These are not as scalable as the above and are intended for learning purposes and personal use. You can use these to handle your personal projects, as well as to handle data if you have a relatively small business. Many enterprise DBMS suites come with their personal versions for small-scale use. A few, like Microsoft, make spate small-scale products like the Microsoft Access.
What’s best for my business?
You have to know what your immediate and future requirements are. If online, how much traffic will the site attract both in the short and longer term? How likely is it that multiple transactions will need to be handled simultaneously? How big will the site grow in future? This necessitates an elaborate planning process with database experts. If you don’t have an in-house team, remote services can also help with this decision.
Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist. He works at a Remote DBA Expert firm, having founded the same firm 5 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other Oracle developers and consumers on platforms.