12 Database Software for 2021

[Tested and Reviewed]

We will help you discover the perfect database engine for your business. We went up and down the internet to find the 12 best database software and wrote exhaustive reviews for each of them. This article will also answer some of the burning questions regarding database management, software functionalities, and much more.

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Top 12 Database Software 2021

1. Solarwinds

The Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) from Solarwinds is a cross-platform solution that’s designed for monitoring, analyzing, and tuning SQL queries. Through anomaly detection that’s powered by machine learning and forensic-level wait time analysis, you can diagnose performance issues within minutes. Both historical and real-time data can give you accurate answers that will resolve critical problems. You can proactively work toward optimizing your enterprise through table-turning advisors and expert advice via query. Nasdaq uses it for MSSQL and performance troubleshooting. Full Review

  • Detail-oriented
  • Custom alerts set up
  • Easy to use
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The Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) from Solarwinds is a cross-platform solution that’s designed for monitoring, analyzing, and tuning SQL queries. Through anomaly detection that’s powered by machine learning and forensic-level wait time analysis, you can diagnose performance issues within minutes. Both historical and real-time data can give you accurate answers that will resolve critical problems. You can proactively work toward optimizing your enterprise through table-turning advisors and expert advice via query. Nasdaq uses it for MSSQL and performance troubleshooting. Full Review

Free Trial

Yes

Data Migration

No

Mobile Access

No

Access Controls/Permissions

Yes

Relational

Yes

Virtualization

Yes

Performance Analysis

Yes

Multiple Language Support

Yes

2. Knack

Founded in 2010, Knack ranks the highest in the ease-of-use index when it comes to online database software. Being a SaaS instrument, all its users can connect and extend their data automatically. With this, you can build a Membership Directory, Inventory Manager, CRM/Lead Manager, or even a HIPAA compliant app without having to write a single line of code. Their impressive customer base includes HP, Spotify, Intel, Harvard University, among more than 4000 others. They claim to have supported the building of about 100,000 apps with more than 10 billion records stored. Full Review

  • Great for large data sets
  • Versatile
  • No-code
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Founded in 2010, Knack ranks the highest in the ease-of-use index when it comes to online database software. Being a SaaS instrument, all its users can connect and extend their data automatically. With this, you can build a Membership Directory, Inventory Manager, CRM/Lead Manager, or even a HIPAA compliant app without having to write a single line of code. Their impressive customer base includes HP, Spotify, Intel, Harvard University, among more than 4000 others. They claim to have supported the building of about 100,000 apps with more than 10 billion records stored. Full Review

User Access Control and Permissions

Yes

Free Trial

Yes

Debugging

No

Workflow Rules

Yes

Email Alerts

Yes

Forms with Logic, Image and File Storage

Yes

Web App Development

Yes

Code-based

No

3. EMS SQL Manager

If you want to manage your SQL Server effortlessly, SQL Manager is the perfect software for you. Developed by EMS mainly for Windows (support for Mac and Linux version also available), it’s used by thousands of people around the globe, enabling them to create data analytics components within a unified dashboard. A lightweight software with a simple interface, EMS SQL Manager is a high-performance tool. A person can use it with no prior experience of administering a multi-user database software. Full Review

  • Integrated with multiple SQL tools
  • Multiple SQL queries simplified
  • Access server via HTTP
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If you want to manage your SQL Server effortlessly, SQL Manager is the perfect software for you. Developed by EMS mainly for Windows (support for Mac and Linux version also available), it’s used by thousands of people around the globe, enabling them to create data analytics components within a unified dashboard. A lightweight software with a simple interface, EMS SQL Manager is a high-performance tool. A person can use it with no prior experience of administering a multi-user database software. Full Review

Free Trial

Yes

Full support for PostgreSQL

Yes

Effective Security Management

Yes

Data Import and Export

Yes

Rapid Database Management and Navigation

Yes

Tools for query building

Yes

Powerful Visual Database Designer

Yes

Data Manipulation

Yes

4. Oracle RDBMS

Founded in as early as 1977, Oracle’s top-of-the-line product, RDBMS is a leading enterprise-scale relational database software that offers military-grade transaction processing and secure data management. With broad-spectrum support from the company, you can run it on any machine ranging from UNIX to IBM AIX. It’s the most object-relational database management system tool out there and perhaps the most widely used one, too. Full Review

  • Offers hybrid deployment
  • High scalability and reliability
  • Supports ACID transactions
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Founded in as early as 1977, Oracle’s top-of-the-line product, RDBMS is a leading enterprise-scale relational database software that offers military-grade transaction processing and secure data management. With broad-spectrum support from the company, you can run it on any machine ranging from UNIX to IBM AIX. It’s the most object-relational database management system tool out there and perhaps the most widely used one, too. Full Review

Backup

No

Database Conversion

No

Queries

Yes

OLAP

Yes

Data Migration

Yes

Storage Optimization

No

Performance Analysis

No

Monitoring

No

5. SAP ASE

Adaptive Server Enterprise (or ASE) is a relational database management system from SAP. It was initially designed for the Unix platforms in 1987 under the name Sybase SQL Server. It has changed its name twice since. Mainly known for its transaction management capabilities, you get support for both on-premise and cloud databases depending on your needs. Full Review

  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Data Security
  • Faster transaction processing
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Adaptive Server Enterprise (or ASE) is a relational database management system from SAP. It was initially designed for the Unix platforms in 1987 under the name Sybase SQL Server. It has changed its name twice since. Mainly known for its transaction management capabilities, you get support for both on-premise and cloud databases depending on your needs. Full Review

Business continuity and data security

Yes

Native data encryption at a granular level

Supported

Improved transaction processing

Yes

Increased agility with a secure SQL database system

Yes

Options for both on-premise and cloud deployment

Yes

High availability and reliability

Yes

Supports low latency with high-performance XOLTP engine

Yes

Resource-efficient RDBMS server

Yes

6. Improvado

Improvado is a new database software tool built by marketers for marketers. It aggregates all your marketing data from different platforms in one place. And with its flexible and scalable middleware marketing solution, enterprises of all sizes are covered. Full Review

  • Plug and play
  • No need for developers
  • Real-time marketing data aggregation
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Improvado is a new database software tool built by marketers for marketers. It aggregates all your marketing data from different platforms in one place. And with its flexible and scalable middleware marketing solution, enterprises of all sizes are covered. Full Review

Free trial

Yes

Create Your Custom Metrics and Integration

Yes

Marketing Integration At The Very Root Level

Yes

Scorecards and Dashboard

Yes

Visual Analytics and Benchmarking

Yes

Sharing/Publishing

No

Profitability Analysis

Yes

Strategic Planning and Performance Metrics

Yes

7. MySQL

Technically still open-source, MySQL now falls under Oracle’s umbrella and hence has a few proprietary, closed-source modules. Nevertheless, it’s the go-to database software for amateurs and professionals alike. Full Review

  • Available for free use
  • Highly functional for a free database software
  • Broad UI implementation scope
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Technically still open-source, MySQL now falls under Oracle’s umbrella and hence has a few proprietary, closed-source modules. Nevertheless, it’s the go-to database software for amateurs and professionals alike. Full Review

Free to download and use

Yes

High Availability

Yes

High Performance

Yes

Sturdy Transactional Support

Yes

Ease of Management

Yes

Comprehensive Application Development

Yes

Low Cost of Ownership

Yes

Data Protection

Yes

8. IBM DB2

Take NoSQL capabilities, DB2 from IBM, provides solutions for the Operational Database, Data Warehouses, Data Lake, and Fast Data. Without a second thought, it’s among the best database software for enterprises with excessive workload. Full Review

  • Great for performance orientation and scaling
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • User-friendly interface
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Take NoSQL capabilities, DB2 from IBM, provides solutions for the Operational Database, Data Warehouses, Data Lake, and Fast Data. Without a second thought, it’s among the best database software for enterprises with excessive workload. Full Review

Compression backup

Yes

Homogenous SQL Replication

Yes

High availability and Disaster Recovery

Yes

Oracle Compatibility

Yes

PureXML storage

Yes

Query Parallelism

Yes

Workload Management

Yes

Legacy Software Support

Yes

9. Microsoft SQL Server

A Microsoft database software, SQL Server is a management system based on the relational model that falls under the company’s Data Platform umbrella. The latest version comes pre-built and integrated with Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) that provides you insight over all your data. Companies like Ontrack, Sabre India, Datademy, and DSI Global have been using Microsoft SQL Server for long. Full Review

  • Data visualization on mobile device
  • Extremely fast and stable
  • High compatibility with other Microsoft Products
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A Microsoft database software, SQL Server is a management system based on the relational model that falls under the company’s Data Platform umbrella. The latest version comes pre-built and integrated with Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) that provides you insight over all your data. Companies like Ontrack, Sabre India, Datademy, and DSI Global have been using Microsoft SQL Server for long. Full Review

Free Trial

Yes

Class performance and flexibility

Yes

Backup and recovery

Yes

Deployment with Kubernetes

Yes

Intelligent Database Capabilities

Yes

Encrypted Data Enclaves

Yes

Built-in Security and Compliance

Yes

High Availability

Yes

10. Teradata

Teradata Database has evolved to become the Teradata Advanced SQL Engine. It claims to be the world’s most flexible analytic engine that runs on the highly scalable Teradata database. It might be the best client database software for a small business to enable it to go large-scale. Big names like 7-Eleven (the world’s largest convenience store chain), American Cancer Society, Aviva Insurance, BMW, and many others are proud customers of Teradata. Full Review

  • Real-time processing
  • Distributing large databases at scale
  • Flexible Multivariate Data Format
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Teradata Database has evolved to become the Teradata Advanced SQL Engine. It claims to be the world’s most flexible analytic engine that runs on the highly scalable Teradata database. It might be the best client database software for a small business to enable it to go large-scale. Big names like 7-Eleven (the world’s largest convenience store chain), American Cancer Society, Aviva Insurance, BMW, and many others are proud customers of Teradata. Full Review

Backup and recovery

No

Data Migration

No

Data Replication

No

Mobile Access

Yes

Data Security

Yes

Virtualization

Yes

NoSQL

Yes

Monitoring

Yes

11. Amazon RDS

The Relational Database Service (RDS) from Amazon is a stable and highly capable Database as a Service (DBaaS) that is at par (if not above) with its competitors. It boasts of having customers like Expedia, Airbnb, Netflix, Unilever, GE, and many more. It’s one of the best database management software. Full Review

  • Easy to operate
  • Simple and lightweight
  • High availability and disaster recovery
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The Relational Database Service (RDS) from Amazon is a stable and highly capable Database as a Service (DBaaS) that is at par (if not above) with its competitors. It boasts of having customers like Expedia, Airbnb, Netflix, Unilever, GE, and many more. It’s one of the best database management software. Full Review

Free Trial

Yes

Backup and Recovery

Yes

Virtualization

Yes

Database Conversion

No

NoSQL

No

Mobile Access

Yes

Data Replication

Yes

Storage Optimization

Yes

12. PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL falls among the few popular databases that are used widely for building web applications and are available for free. It’s highly scalable and fully open-source and associations as big as TIME Systems, National Audubon Society and Creative Mettle, among others, use it. Full Review

  • JSON support
  • Open Source Database Software
  • Provides an array of predefined functions
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PostgreSQL falls among the few popular databases that are used widely for building web applications and are available for free. It’s highly scalable and fully open-source and associations as big as TIME Systems, National Audubon Society and Creative Mettle, among others, use it. Full Review

Relational

Yes

Backup and Recovery

No

Data Replication

Yes

Database Conversion

Yes

Access Controls

Yes

Virtualization

No

Performance Analysis

No

Free Access

Yes

The Best Database Software in the UK for 2021

  • Solarwinds – Best for sysadmin, IT Operations, Database Admins, Developers and Managers.
  • Knack – Best for enterprises that want to implement a robust online database without writing code.
  • EMS SQL Manager – Best for users who want a tool just to monitor the existing database system.
  • Oracle RDBMS – Best for organizations that want to store their HR database software in the UK on either the cloud or on-premise.
  • SAP ASE – Best for businesses looking for high performance while running critical applications.
  • Improvado – Best for advertising agencies looking for a one-stop solution for analyzing their marketing data.
  • MySQL – Best for enterprises with a low budget that want a scalable and robust database management tool.
  • IBM DB2 – Best for users looking for solutions for Data Lake, Data Warehouse, Operational Database, and Fast Data.
  • Microsoft SQL Server – Best for large organizations who already have a Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Teradata – Best for enterprises looking to scale its operations and needs a robust data analytics software service.
  • Amazon RDS – Best for DevOps Engineers, Data Scientists, and System Administrators of digital-native companies.
  • PostgreSQL – Best for medium and large enterprises with budget constraints, looking for a database with JSON support.

How We Ranked the Best Database Software

A lot of work has gone into finalizing the database management software on our list. We selected the engines based on their popularity among users, their relevance in 2021, and the use cases they solve in general. Let’s talk about the parameters that determine their relevance:

Google Trends

To create this list, we looked up searches in Google Trends and selected as many as 50 database software applications that were searched most frequently.

Tweets and Mentions

For the ones in the Google Trends search, we took a look at the number of tweets that Twitter had with their hashtags and filtered out the least popular ones in the bunch.

Frequency of Discussion

The next step made things more technical. We went to DBA Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow and counted the number of questions that were asked concerning these database software tools. Now, these were people who got their hands dirty, and thus, this step was crucial to creating the best possible review.

User Reviews

This is where we learned about the experiences that various corporates had while using database technology. All of these users have listed out their unique views on the pros and cons. We made sure to take them all into account and mention the most frequently discussed features and issues.

Detailed Reviews

Solarwinds
Solarwinds

BEST FOR

Sysadmin, IT Operations, Database Admins, Developers and Managers

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  • Detail-oriented
  • Custom alerts set up
  • Easy to use
  • Gentle learning curve

When you need to pinpoint performance issues in an SQL environment quickly, you’ll need all the help you can get. While traditional solutions exist, including the native Dynamic Management Objects, Extended Events, and Performance Monitor, but the information they deliver can get overwhelming, at times.

Based on the business needs and the time constraints, selecting SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer makes a lot of sense. Here’s why:

Fetching Data

It can drill down both historical and real-time data in one-minute increments to determine trends and correct issues.

Detecting Anomalies

Opposed to focusing solely on metrics, it goes beyond the norm to check if there are any performance issues.

Reports and Alerts

It has the ‘Reporting’ feature inherited on all its interfaces which allows it to send results via email. Proactive alerts with customized reports sent to the teams are undoubtedly extremely useful.

Dissecting Performance Issues

The Database Performance Analyzer has an intuitivе browsеr-basеd intеrfacе to dissеct pеrformancе issuеs against numеrous vеrsions of SQL Sеrvеr, VMwarе, and othеr web database software. You can usе it to sharе with developers, admins, QA, and managеmеnt without compromising production security.

The Enterprise Dashboard

The dashboard is the first thing you see when you log into the DPA. As any good database software, it provides insight across all your monitored instances and then groups your servers by the database platform they employ. The dashboard interface also takes care of all the alerts and warnings for all the servers, by prioritizing and troubleshooting them one by one.

Trends Interface

The first thing that you’ll see is the bar chart for the T-SQL statements. The tallest bar is the T-SQL code requiring the most of your attention, and it’s very easy to find.

Resources Interface

You’ll get a few line graphs that will help you quickly determine the status of your SQL server instance. You can also compare the results of the data (which includes the CPU, Memory, Network, Waits, and Disk metrics) over a broad timeline.

Virtualization Performance

It helps you get an insight into the VM and host supporting your SQL server instance. 

Pricing

The pricing of the DPA starts from £1527.44 ($1,995) for an SQL server, MySQL, and standard Oracle DB subscription. For SAP ASE, Oracle Enterprise Edition, and IBM DB2, Database Performance Analyzer costs £2675.89 ($3,495). Perpetual licensing options are also available.

Knack
Knack

BEST FOR

Enterprises that want to implement a robust online database without writing code.

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  • Great for large data sets
  • Versatile
  • No-code
  • HIPAA and PCI compliant

Knack can build anything and everything ranging from inventory managers and customer portals to custom CRMs and beehive managers. It is so powerful that its use cases lie in a plethora of domains including, but not limited to data management, custom workflows, and automation.

An All-In-One Interface

The best thing about Knack is its simple web-based interface that demands no prior coding knowledge. You have everything you need within reach, which definitely saves time.

Pre-designed Templates

Apart from all this, you also get as many as 39 pre-created database templates that you can select to match your organization’s needs. For instance, there are customizable CRM templates that you can use to manage customers, create meetings, assign tasks, and generate sales overall. That works well for any medium-sized agency.

If you’re thinking of a large enterprise, Knack has got your back with database templates that can do everything from managing purchase orders to managing payroll, inventory, and even entire projects.

Save Time and Money

With all this functionality bundled up in a simple web database software, you’ll be saving up a lot of money and time spent in managing multiple departments. You’ll no longer have to use a different tool for every operation.

Pricing

The Knack database software has multiple pricing options. First, you can use it for 14 days for free without having to provide your card details. In case you like it,  can either choose from the three available plans or go for other more extensive schemes for enterprises. The available plans are:

  • Starter –  At £29.90 ($39) per month where you get up to 20,000 records, 2 GB of storage, and up to 3 app connections.
  • Pro – At £60.6 ($79) per month, you get up to 50,000 records and 10 GB of storage with three app connections. With this plan, you’ll also get priority support from the company.
  • Corporate – At £137.23 ($179) per month, you get to store up to 125,000 records and as much as 125 GB storage with support for a maximum of 25 apps. Knack will provide you with Premier Support.
EMS SQL Manager
EMS SQL Manager

BEST FOR

Users who want a tool just to monitor the existing database system

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  • Integrated with multiple SQL tools
  • Multiple SQL queries simplified
  • Access server via HTTP
  • Efficient data manipulation

In many ways, EMS SQL Manager is an impressive solution. It has a sharp appearance and offers blazingly fast performance all the while occupying very little space on your disk. Considering its price point, the SQL Manager has done a great job of allowing you to supplement Toad in your development environment. Now, Toad is a database management toolset that as an analyst or database administrator, you can use to manage both relational and non-relational databases. Apart from that, here are other features that made us add EMS SQL Manager in our list.

SQL Backup

EMS SQL Manager can help you save time and as much as 95% disk space during backup. You also get fully automated database maintenance that further promotes data availability.

SQL Administrator

The SQL Administrator tool helps in performance management and general simplification of the SQL Server administration process. It’s also responsible for handling maintenance of tasks, analyzing performance statistics, and managing server permissions.

Database Conversion

The SQL Manager is responsible for providing flexibility during the import and export of SQL software data files which are available in different formats. You can import files of Excel and Access as well.

Integrations

It works with a number of different SQL tools. Apart from Oracle and PostgreSQL, you get MySQL versions ranging from 4.1 to the latest version. You also gеt all thе latеst features, including MySQL database triggers, viеws, storеd procеdurеs and functions, InnoDB forеign kеys, Unicodе data, among various othеr fеaturеs.

Pricing

215.60 GBP plus 20% VAT (totaling to 258.72 GBP) for EMS SQL Manager for SQL Server with 1-year maintenance.

Oracle RDBMS
Oracle RDBMS

BEST FOR

Organizations that want to store their HR database software in the UK on either the cloud or on-premise

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  • Offers hybrid deployment
  • High scalability and reliability
  • Supports ACID transactions
  • Partitioning and Compression to enhance performance

One of the most noticeable aspects of Oracle RDBMS is its robust integrity. With best-in-class security, the users can rest assured their data is protected. You also get excellent failover options, which you can implement either manually or toggle it for automatic implementation.

You can also query around the rack while making use of the high availability that Oracle offers you. High availability means that if something goes wrong with one of the servers, there are still many others that will be live and the service you use will never go down.

Flexibility

Oracle’s relational software database is flexible enough to be run on both a supercomputer and a personal laptop while providing the same services. Due to its active design, you also get a highly compatible referential system.

Efficiency

You can see a few significant changes in this software’s latest version. The most notable of these is the fact that it takes up vitally less space than its earlier versions. There have been a few performance upgrades as well since data gets processed much faster than before.

Performance-Oriented

Oracle RDBMS can reduce your query execution and wait times by implementing union branches concurrently. The SQL elapsed time also seems to have been reduced.

Pluggable Databases

By using the pluggable database feature, you can lower your resource consumption. You also lower the risk of your data getting consolidated.

What’s more is that you get a disaster recovery tool from the company, called the Oracle Data Guard.

Pricing

The price point of Oracle RDBMS varies depending on your requirements – the size of your enterprise and the extent of your IT infrastructure. Contacting Oracle’s Customer Support is your best bet to get an accurate quote.

SAP ASE
SAP ASE

BEST FOR

Businesses looking for high performance while running critical applications

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  • Easy to set up and maintain
  • Data Security
  • Faster transaction processing
  • Workload optimization

SAP ASE is among the most popular database tools out there. The company keeps all kinds of businesses in mind and provides customized solutions for whoever asks for it. The core infrastructure is designed to support thе dеmanding requirements of transaction-intensive, mission-critical OLTP and dеcision support applications whilе dеlivеring innovations that mееt thе еmеrging nееds of е-Businеss.

Multiple Deployment Options

You can extend your SQL database with a workload analyzer option or a MemScale to help accelerate query execution, response times, and the reporting process. You can also use the cloud version of SAP ASE, which is supported by the market leader of the domain, AWS.

Data Security with Business Continuity 

SAP ASE’s data security program ensures that your systems and data remain shielded from any kind of disruptions or cyber threats.

Accelerated Transaction Processing

By increasing the performance of your existing (and incoming) data-driven business applications, the Adaptive Server Enterprise can handle massive volumes of data while being used by thousands of concurrent users. 

Scalability and Performance

With options like XOLTP and MemScale, you can upgrade the way your data performs, while scaling users, data, and transactions.

Optimized Workload

With the in-built workload analyzer and profiler, you can simplify your operations and reduce costs while maintaining high availability.

All in all, ASE is thе product of choicе for mission-critical applications rеquiring high pеrformancе, rеliability, and scalability. With complеtе cloud support, thе sеrvicе offеrs supеrior web database solutions, including Java and XML support with a dramatically lowеr total cost of ownеrship.

Pricing

According to data from Amazon Marketplace, where you can subscribe to SAP ASE, the typical price per instance for services hosted on m5.4xlarge in US East (N. Virginia) is GBP 1.15 (or $1.504) per hour. There’s a whole range of pricing ranging from GBP 0.05 (or $0.064) to GBP 24.95 (or $32.576) per hour for x1e.32xlarge. You can find detailed pricing here

Improvado
Improvado

BEST FOR

Advertising agencies looking for a one-stop solution for analyzing their marketing data

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  • Plug and play
  • No need for developers
  • Real-time marketing data aggregation
  • Handle complex data types at scale

Improvado is a powerful marketing database software. You get a ton of APIs that you can hook into all the major platforms where you’re marketing your business. Plus, you get Google Sheets integrated with your dashboard. So, you generate reports on demand.

The platform is quite straightforward if you get hands-on with it, but the customer support is great if you face any trouble. Connеcting various platforms is a brееzе too, as Improvado supports a wholе host of diffеrеnt connеctions and intеgrations. 

Reporting

Improvado has a very sturdy reporting mechanism in place which can reduce your manual reporting heavy lifting to a great extent.

Cost-Effective

Using Improvado doesn’t require developers or SQL experts. It has a smooth learning curve, and with the help of prompt support agents, anyone can manage the dashboard with a little intent.

Data Visualization

Data visualization has never been easier. Using this tool, you can extract and transfer all your data to other third-party visualization software like Tableau, Google Sheets, or Google Data Studio.

By the way, if you need a separate data visualization software, here you can find our top picks.

Integrations

Improvado has integrated a lot of third-party tools including MailChimp, Twitter, Salesforce, Excel, Google Sheets, Google Adwords, etc.

Improvado offers you great functionality if you want to avoid all the heavy lifting of managing data from different platforms.

Pricing

You get a free one-month trial after which Improvado provides a custom price point depending on the users’ needs. You can schedule a demo and discuss the cost with the sales team. 

MySQL
MySQL

BEST FOR

Enterprises with a low budget that want a scalable and robust database management tool

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  • Available for free use
  • Highly functional for a free database software
  • Broad scope for UI implementation - Broad UI implementation scope
  • Can be integrated alongside other databases like Oracle or DB2

MySQL is among the most widely used databases across the globe, with its most prominent use case being web-based applications. It’s lightweight and it integrates with several VMs, the world’s largest CMS, and WordPress. 

Although acquired by Oracle, it remains a freeware but is now backed by funding and investments which have helped with its security and features improvements. Paid versions are also available for commercial use. The free version focuses on spееd and rеliability instеad of features diversity, which is a good thing.

Scalability

MySQL is among the few database software that can help manage data at scale. The web properties of companies like Zynga, Facebook, Zappos, Twitter, etc. depend on MySQL for their performance needs.

Wide Applications

With MySQL, you get reduced costs with low-level complexity during the development process. Deployment and general management of critical applications feel seamless.

Technical Support

With Oracle now backing MySQL, you now get robust technical support from their team for commercial licenses.

Business Orientation

Various businesses, including e-commerce sites, can now leverage MySQL for the development of more sophisticated applications.

This solution allows you to sеlеct from a variеty of storagе еnginеs to changе thе functionality of thе tool and handlе data from diffеrеnt tablе typеs. It also has an еasy to usе intеrfacе, and batch commands lеt you procеss еnormous amounts of data. Thе systеm is also incrеdibly rеliablе and don’t tеnd to hog rеsourcеs. MySQL can run large enterprise operations with ease.

Pricing

MySQL for individual use is available for free. For commercial purposes, there are three slabs:  

  • Standard – GBP 1529.14 ($2,000)
  • Enterprise – GBP 3822.84 ($5,000)
  • Cluster CGE – GBP 7645.68 ($10,000)
IBM DB2
IBM DB2

BEST FOR

Users looking for solutions for Data Lake, Data Warehouse, Operational Database, and Fast Data

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  • Great for performance orientation and scaling
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • User-friendly interface
  • Self-management and Optimization

IBM’s DB2 Enterprise for Windows, Linux, and UNIX is truly a fascinating database management software. It offers the new XML support that will help your firm reduce the time spent in using the XML data and hence make the business more agile and cost-effective.

The DB2 was originally designed to be used on IBM’s iSeries servers, but now it’s quite popular among other companies too.

Data Skipping

Its current version (9.7) offers a lot of improvement in BLU Acceleration, thus making the software database engine work faster through data skipping technology.

Hosting

You can host it on both the cloud and on-premise. And although with a limited scope, the DB2 engine can be hosted on a hybrid combination of the two, too. The last option is best suitable for enterprises that want elaborate security and privacy.

Task Scheduling

You can also automate your workload with the help of the in-built Task Scheduler, which can run multiple operations at the same time. It gathers statistics and helps reorganize the indices and the tables without developer intervention. 

Cloud Support

The cloud-based version of IBM DB2 is also a fully managed SQL Database-as-a-Service. It is compatible with PL/SQL and offers clean data migration. The UI here is quite intuitive and easy to operate with a very gentle learning curve. Hence, it’s perfect for developers who wish to create a database without any assistance.

Apart from this, IBM DB2 meets the software requirements for Java tools as well.

Pricing

The community edition of IBM DB2 is available for free. The other three commercial versions: Base, Standard, and Advanced offer all the features of the free version, along with variable support from the IBM team. You can contact the company for detailed pricing.

Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server

BEST FOR

Large organizations who already have a Microsoft ecosystem

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  • Data visualization on mobile device
  • Extremely fast and stable
  • High compatibility with other Microsoft Products
  • Can adjust and track performance levels

Microsoft SQL Server is among the most sought-after software database management solutions out there. With its excellent multitasking capabilities, you can store and retrieve multiple requests concurrently and take advantage of the brilliant features to develop creative and modern applications with ease.

Automated Plan Correction

This feature has the power to fix the issues in SQL plan performance by identifying the problematic queries at the very rudimentary level.

AI All Across

With big data clusters, all the tools and systems can ingest, store, and prepare data for analysis and training. Creating operational machine-learning database models is a breeze.

Performance

It has the power to turn raw data into useful, actionable insights that you can sort and view from any platform.

Query Data Processing

Microsoft has been diligently working on improving its product, and new editions are released almost every year. The latest version leverages adaptive query processing features that can enhance the way queries perform in the SQL server and database.

Data Security

The latest version of Microsoft SQL Server comes with a dynamic data masking feature that makes sure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data.

Multiple Deployment Options

Microsoft SQL Server is among the few vendors that offer both on-premise and cloud support for its clients. You can set it up to work partly on both as well (hybrid).

The newer versions make it easy for developers and general users to create and visualize designs and tables without proper syntax. 

If you’re looking for developing more advanced queries, the solution has your back as well with the Developer Network feature, which replaces Microsoft Access.

Pricing

You can try the free Developer and Express versions of the solution before investing in an enterprise-level edition.

Teradata
Teradata

BEST FOR

Enterprises looking to scale its operations and needs a robust data analytics software service

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  • Real-time processing
  • Distributes large databases at scale
  • Flexible Multivariate Data Format
  • Permission controls for tracking data

Established in as early as 1979, Teradata is a very simple database software solution provider. You get an above-par processing speed while importing and exporting data. It can manage complex queries and can help to simplify the overall data warehousing.

Future Proof

Teradata provides a truly future-ready lineup. Regardless of the chosen deployment (public/private cloud, as a service, or on-premises), you’ll get the same product with the same functionality.

Elastic Performance

Depending on your business needs or customer demands, you have the means to throttle the system resources whenever you need it.

Mission Critical Availability

Nothing is more annoying than facing system downtime during critical development phases. With Teradata, you can run enterprise-scale operations without interruptions.

Solid ROI

Teradata is a simple, scalable, and easy to use database software. While keeping the total cost of ownership (TCO) low, you get insightful analytics for the operations throughout the enterprise.

Accurate Insights

Teradata’s linearly scalable analytics engine can analyze data for operational and tactical insights.

Use Cases

Thе company’s sеrvicеs havе a widе array of usе casеs. If you work in the financial field, Tеradata will providе you timеly, accuratе answеrs by mеrging customеr account information for markеting purposes with divеrsе gеographical and businеss data. Thе insights includе, but arе not limitеd to, chеcking and savings accounts, loans, crеdit cards, ATMs, and onlinе systеms.

If you’re in the healthcare business, Teradata will analyze real-time data and get you reports on managing risk, medical costs, providing tailored member service, and beyond.

Again, suppose you’re in the logistics, telecommunications, or retail business, Teradata will optimize your asset utilization, expenses of operations, accounting, inventory, stocking, etc.

Pricing

Teradata offers its services at four simple tiers depending on the business’ requirements. Each of these tiers is bundled with the general web database features, licensing for the product based on the subscription, portability from on-premise to cloud and much more. You pay only for what you use and get On-Demand options with zero upfront payments. Furthermore, for cloud deployments, you have AWS and Microsoft Azure as your options.

For AWS hosting, the DIY charges of Teradata Vantage’s Advanced SQL Engine start at GBP 1.28 per hour for Base plan and go up to GBP 17.29 per hour in the Enterprise plan, depending on the instance type. You can contact the company for further details on pricing.

Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS

BEST FOR

DevOps Engineers, Data Scientists, and System Administrators of digital-native companies

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  • Easy to operate
  • Simple and lightweight
  • High availability and disaster recovery
  • Affordable

Amazon RDS has single-handedly made setting up, operating, and scaling a relational database in the cloud a walk in the park. The company provides a highly cost-efficient solution for you to scale your operations with a resizable capacity and automated administration tasks.

Highly Scalable

With a few clicks or an API call, you can scale your database’s storage and compute resources with no downtime. There are many engine types inside RDS, and most of them read replicas to offload read traffic from your central database instance.

Fast

Amazon RDS supports even the most demanding database apps. For a faster experience, you can choose between the two SSD storage options. One of them is optimized for performance, OLTP applications and the like. The other option may suit enterprises with budget constraints and more general purposes.

Secure

Managing networking access was never so easy. With Amazon RDS, you get access to the company’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Having access to the VPC means you can isolate your database instances and connect them to your company’s IT infrastructure through a standard VPN.

Affordable

Through Amazon RDS, you only pay for what you use, unlike the standardized slab that most vendors offer. Furthermore, there’s on-demand pricing which means you don’t have to commit to anything.

Easy to Administer

Amazon offers you multiple options that you can make use of to administer your project. You’ve got the native Management Console of RDS, but you can also utilize the AWS RDS Command Line Interface (CLI) or even simple API calls to access the features of the database quickly.

Durable and Available

AWS claims 99.99% availability with 11 nines. The Amazon Web Services and the Relational Database Service share the same infrastructure. And with a large chunk of the web-hosted on AWS, you can rest assured that you’ll probably never experience downtime.

Pricing

Amazon RDS is available for a free trial. And when you decide to scale, you only have to pay for what you use. Pick an instance type for your requirements and get an estimate of your monthly bill using the AWS Pricing Calculator.

PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL

BEST FOR

Medium and large enterprises with budget constraints, looking for a database with JSON support

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  • JSON support
  • Open Source Database Software
  • Provides an array of predefined functions
  • Uses MVCC for data consistency

PostgreSQL or PSQL, founded in 1992, is a powerful object-relational database software. It has been developed actively in the past decades, and this has improved its public and enterprise usability to a great extent.

Now it comes with many features that are aimed at helping developers build and administer applications while protecting data integrity. You can develop fault-tolerant environments with PostgreSQL and manage your data no matter the size.

Extensible

Apart from the fact that it’s open-source, PSQL allows you to create your own data types, develop custom functions and support other programming languages like PHP.

Hosting

You can host this database in virtual, physical, and cloud environments. Users can manage both structured and unstructured data and use it on most major platforms, including Linux-based ones.

PostgreSQL is gaining popularity among businesses who’re looking for an affordable solution for their data needs.

Pricing

PostgreSQL is a free client database software for everyone to try and use, but you can always make donations, fund or sponsor the developers to boost the project further.

The Best Database Software for 2021

Every vendor offers some unique implementation aimed at a particular business sector with specific needs. There are customer database software that caters to the demand of a small business with budget constraints, and there are others who understand there are enterprises looking for performance and ease of use above everything else. With this in mind, here are a few database management systems that are popular for their USP.

  • SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer – Best value admin monitoring software
  • Knack – Best no-code SaaS
  • EMS SQL Manager – Best lightweight database software
  • Oracle RDBMS – Best database software for scalability
  • SAP ASE – Best database for workload optimization
  • Improvado – Best value for digital marketing usage
  • MySQL – Best open-source database software
  • IBM DB2 – Best Data Lake and Fast Data solution
  • Microsoft SQL server – Best database software for Microsoft ecosystem
  • Teradata – Best data analytics software service
  • Amazon RDS –  Best value for money
  • PostgreSQL – Best free database management system

What Is Database Software?

Database software is a utility or a program that is used to develop, manipulate and maintain records and databases. You can store data as tables, columns, and other forms of structured fields which can later be accessed and retrieved programmatically.

Most of the modern database software applications come with amazing graphical user interfaces (GUI) with visualizations that will tell you when there’s something wrong with any of your queries.

You can dеvеlop a database software application as a singlе-usеr dеsktop application, a multi-usеr network modеl, or a wеb application. Whilе a multi-usеr app works on a LAN, a wеb application nееds a distant sеrvеr and a web browser to bе accеssеd. Wеb sеrvicеs in many ways blur the distinction bеtwееn installеd applications and wеb applications. That’s bеcausе installеd applications can also accеss thе wеb for sеrvicеs.

Nonеthеlеss, a databasе softwarе application invariably includеs an RDBMS likе Oraclе Databasе, Microsoft SQL Sеrvеr or SAP ASE. Thе RDBMS is thе corе part of a databasе softwarе application. It holds all thе information and manipulatеs it using SQL Statеmеnts.

Database software applications have evolved from single-user desktop applications to the highly sophisticated versions that run over the cloud. Apart from that, depending on the use cases, these applications can be modified and partitioned in multiple tiers, and have at least three layers –  Business, Data, and Presentation.

How Does Database Software Work?

Database software apps are broadly classified into six sub-categories, and each of them has a unique working mechanism. Here they are:

Analytical Database Software

This software pulls data and quantitatively assesses the performance of different databases. It does so by storing historical data on business metrics such as inventory levels, sales performance, etc.

Distributed Database Software

The distributed database software stores data at different locations to ensure availability and durability. Applications read the distributed network as a single database, and all cloud-based services follow this model. It’s considered to be the safest because of its natural data redundancy.

Data Warehouse Software

This type of database software reports regular insights by pulling key data from a variety of databases. You can use these insights to identify inconsistencies in the data.

Operational Database Software (OLTP)

Online Transaction Processing Databases or Operational Databases are used to manipulate data in real-time. OLTP finds its application in customer relationship and finance management.

External Database Software

The external database software offers multi-user support by compiling privately owned information that can be accessed by people over the internet.

End-User Database Software

Most people are aware of this kind of database software. These include spreadsheet managers, word processors, among others, and are necessarily used by just one person.

What Are The Benefits of Database Software?

A database is a collection of records with a structural description of the type of records held in that database. And broadly speaking, database software helps with storage, organisation, accessibility, and manipulation. 

Some of the other vital benefits of database software include:

Effortless Maintenance of Large Databases

Any company with diversified operations will have their data stored in large databases. An efficient database software will help in the easy maintenance of these databases by enforcing validations and integrity constraints that are defined by the users.

Consistent File Management

Ensuring data consistency is another crucial feature of database software. These tools streamline the data management and manipulation process so that the sourced information becomes the same throughout the organization.

Improved Security

As you handle large sets of sensitive data, security becomes the paramount concern. It’s the responsibility of the database software to ensure that no one unauthorized gets their hands on the data. Only the database administrators have access to such information, and only they have the authority to manipulate it.

Wrapping Up

Every organization needs to keep records, and databases are the way to go. But as organizations scale their operations, managing the data gets complicated, and finding the problematic queries every once in a while would be a nightmare if not for the modern-day database software solutions. While every database service listed above are the best and the most popular, each of them caters to a unique use case and solves an extraordinary problem for some industry. We’re sure you’ll find the right one for your needs.

FAQ

What is the best database software?

Database software applications come in different categories and offer varied functionality. The biggest tech companies across the globe use either MySQL or Oracle databases. Non-relational databases like MongoDB and PostgreSQL work best for those looking at NoSQL formats. For someone looking for pure SQL, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, IBM DB2 are great choices. If you want data visualization, monitoring, and reporting, Solarwinds and Teradata will offer you the best service at scale.

What is database software used for?

A database is a system that’s used to store data (any kind of consistent information). A database engine can manipulate data (or its order) by sorting and serving the information on a database. Database systems play a crucial role in communicating information related to your business, sales, transactions, and all other kinds of records. Various database software tools collect your data and analyze it to give you an idea about how your system is performing.

What is a database software example?

Some of the commonplace database software are MySQL, Oracle Database, Amazon RDS, Microsoft SQL Server, etc. You can use these software tools and services to store and manage data scale (we’re talking terabytes). The best database software examples for RDBMS using SQL would be IBM DB2, Microsoft Access, among others.

What are the 5 databases?

A system that contains and manages databases is called a database management system or DBMS. The five databases are text databases, desktop databases, relational databases, NoSQL databases, and object databases.