Last updated Jul 10, 2019

Data related technicalities are itself a burden that human mind bears every day. The type of data may differ as per the level of technicality, but the mess that it creates in the brain and day to day activities, highly demands a prompt solution.

Whether you are into a small business, a home-trade or a part of any medium level or more prominent organizations, proper management and maintenance of data records seem essential, keeping in mind every possible emergency in future. Hence, such kinds of situations will be best served by using advanced database management software solutions that are available for the professionals as well as the new users.

In short, few simple bills when not appropriately kept and left unarranged despite checking their due dates and amounts can lead to bringing ‘tension-lines’ to your forehead; then what you think, the significant unmanaged office records could do?

If you are supported by a good quality database management solution, at least half of your tensions will be relieved and it will add more percentage to your efficiency for sure.

Data Management

A collection of information, statistics, and records kept under an umbrella in the organized format is called a database. In simple words, a database is just like a computer machine that stores all your information that you can modify as and when you want.

I am sure; you will be interested to know how efficiently you can manage a database so that you can remain free from specific troubles at the end of the day or month.

It is not just the game of ‘rows, columns, and tables’; you would have to index the things to find the relevant information and that too easily. As you are adding new information to the data, it will either expand, updated or deleted depending upon the possible result.

Some specific applications and systems are run against the database to process its workload, and the database automatically creates and updates as per the given command.

The information lifecycle never ends. It continues with the addition of new and subtraction of old data. Hence, a dedicated data management process is essential for constant practicing of data organization and maintenance practices.

The database itself is a systematic collection of information. Hence, the destination of that collection should be at an appropriate storage location where you can manipulate it easily. Also, you will need a proper channel through which you can get that data and work on it.

Similarly, databases are created and managed through proper database software solutions. These systems provide a stipulated program to the users so that they can adequately retrieve, control, and generate new data.

What are Database Management Software Solutions?

Database Management Software Systems are also known as DBMS in short. They provide essential technology solutions for optimizing as well as managing the data storage and retrieving data from the databases. These programs offer users a systematic approach towards the appropriate management of databases via a user interface. Users can also access the workload of the databases through a different range of applications.

The DBMS management responsibilities encompass information within the databases, where the relevant process includes accessing and modification of data along with the logical structure of the database. These database management systems also facilitate some additional administrative operations like disaster recovery, change management, performance monitoring, and compliance, etc. Such systems contain specific key components for facilitating above given functions.

Critical Components of a DBM Software System

Software: DBMS is a software system that covers the entire management using an interface for interacting with the databases. The hardware infrastructure, the OS and the networking software are the essential participants for creating, accessing, managing and processing the databases.

Data: The operational data contained in the DBMS is accessible through database records and metadata as a resource for performing the desired level of functions. This data may cover the administrative information, index files and data dictionaries that are usable for representing the data flow, structure, ownership, and relationships to other objects and records.

Procedures: Procedures are not exactly a part of DBMS software, but they are the directions to use the system well. Guidelines are given in the documents to assist the users in modifying, designing, managing as well as processing the databases.

Database Languages: Database languages are the components of the commercial or free database management software programs that help in accessing, modifying, storing, and retrieving data from the databases. They control user access, specify the database schema and perform other operations related to database management. Data Manipulation Language (DML), Database Access Language (DAL), Data Definition Language (DDL), and Data Control Language (DCL) are some of the popular types of DBMS languages.

Query Processor: The Query Processor is the most fundamental component of the DBMS that works as an intermediary between the DBMS data engine and the users for perfect communication of the query requests. For example, when you enter an instruction in the SQL language, the command will be executed from the high-level instruction of writing to low-level, and the underlying machine source will understand the authority and process further towards appropriate DBMS functionality. Additional to translation and instruction parsing, the Query Processor also performs the function of query optimization to ensure fast processing and accuracy of the results.

Runtime Database Manager: RDM is a centralized management component of both; the proprietary or open source database management solutions that take care of the runtime data functionality that commonly covers accessing the context-based database. RDM checks for the user authorization before requesting the query. Then, it processes the approved queries and further brings forward an optimal strategy to execute the query. Furthermore, it supports concurrency to let multiple users work over the same databases simultaneously and ensures data integrity for the recorded one into the databases.

Database Manager: The database manager is responsible for performing DBMS functionality related to the data within the databases. This authority commands to get different DBMS operations performed efficiently and smoothly for the jobs of creating, backing-up, deleting, cloning, restoring and maintaining the database. A database manager also helps in updating the database with patches from the vendors.

Database Engine: This core software component performs some core functions like data storage and retrieval etc. You can also access a database engine through APIs that permit the users or apps to modify data in the databases.

Reporting: The useful information gets extracted by the report generator from the DBMS files and displayed in the structured format based on precise specifications. You can use this information for further analysis, business intelligence, and decision-making process.

Why are Database Management Software Systems Designed and Created?

The purpose behind designing and creating the DBM software programs is to resolve the fundamental issues that relate to data storing, managing, accessing, securing and auditing in the traditional system of filing. The development of conventional applications of database management leads to challenging several issues like isolation, data redundancy and integrity constraints that have made it difficult to manage data access in practice. Evolution of the commercial or free and open source database management software solutions brought a significant solution to maintain the databases. Here follows, how such systems have proved to be helpful:

  • Data Directory: The data directory points towards the location where the data stores in the software program. It contains the dimensions, cubes and system information loaded into its memory.
  • Data Dictionary: A place where you can find a collection of descriptions of the data items or data objects in a data model is a data dictionary. The data dictionary helps the programmers or directory users to understand the type of data collected in the directory.
  • Data Security: DBM software systems highly ensure the security, validity and, consistency of the data items. 
  • Data Sharing: Users can share data in a fast and efficient manner with others.
  • Accessing and Auditing Data: For security and compliance, you can control the entire database and do the performance audit.
  • Data Integration: A single interface involves in the software program for managing databases with physical and logical relationships.
  • Independence with Abstraction: The organizations can make changes to the physical schema without changing the logical schema that is responsible for maintaining database relationships. Hence, the storage upgrade and infrastructure scaling make its room without impacting database operations. Similarly, modifications to the logical schema are possible without making alterations to the apps and services that have access to the databases.
  • Uniform Management and Administration: The system turns extremely complex technical requirements into simple solutions involving dedicated resources and in-house expertise.

Latest Trends related to Database Management

  • The role of data Engineer is going to be center-staged in the coming year to architecture the organizational data planning.
  • The use of single-point, enterprise-grade data management platforms is going to be in trend in the coming year.
  • The concept of decentralized Data Governance from hierarchical Data Architectures will be moving enterprises in future.
  • GDPR compliance will be the foremost priority for all data pipelines and data management platforms for higher data security, privacy, and governance.
  • Hybrid solutions are coming in context like private-public Cloud technology for increasing productivity and efficiency in the organization.

Free and Open-Source Database Management Software Solutions

Such programs are simple database engines like the commercial ones. The only difference is that the public or the users are allowed to write and release their source code in the desired manner. Hence, they are open to use and modify by all. A community more often continues their development.

Earlier, the databases were understood to be the most complicated proprietary tools facilitated by some leading IT giants like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, etc. However, the number of free and open source database software programs has steadily grown in recent years, concerning their maturity and importance. Such kinds of platforms are mostly preferred for the new projects these days.

DBAs or Database Administrators

As more and more companies are adopting these databases for their large-scale enterprises, a significant rise in the availability of the skilled Database Administrators has become vigilant. These professional DBAs have extensive knowledge of these platforms, and they are well-enough capable of handling the responsibilities of the critical deployments.

List of Top 10 Free and Open-Source Database Management Software Solutions

List of Database Management Software Programs

Comparison between  Free and Open Source Database Management Software Programs:

Comparison chart for database management software solutions

Above-Mentioned Database Management Software Solutions: In Detail

1. MySQL:

Developed by Oracle Corporation and written in C, C++ language, MySQL is a leading open source and free database software system. Its stable version 8.0.13 released date is October 7, 2018.

MySQL

(Source: MySQL)


Features:

  1. It is a relational database system like all other database systems are.
  2. Community server and proprietary server: it supports two different database editions.
  3. Multiple storage engines like InnoDB, CSV, NDB, etc to store data.
  4. It supports SQL, i.e. Structured Query Language that is a standard language to query and update data along with its appropriate administration and management.
  5. MySQL executes under a variety of 20+ operating systems. Some significant ones are Apple Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux and a wide range of UNIX variants.
  6. It is a fast database management program.
  7. It supports ODBC interface Connector/ODBC that permits MySQL to get addressed by all the programming languages that run under Microsoft Windows, Visual Basics, Delphi, etc.
  8. Triggers and views are used to enforce business rules, and it shows only that data which is needed by the user.

2. Cubrid

When the ‘data bridge’ is reached with high-security features, Cubrid becomes the pioneer of data management. A product of Naver Search Solutions, and its stable version is Cubrid 10.1 and its release date is July 14, 2017.

SQLite

(Source: Cubrid)

Features:

  1. Cubrid - highly available software comes with shared-nothing clustering, fall-back and fail-over automated mechanism that facilitates fault-tolerant, load balance and continuous service.
  2. It develops a relational DBMS with optimizing it for web services.
  3. ACID compliant and fully transactional.
  4. ANSI SQL, referential integrity, table-joins, nested and hierarchical queries, conditional regular expressions, query plan caching.
  5. It involves triggers, cursors, and stored procedures, etc.
  6. It involves cross-platform functionality, multi-threaded server implementation, and multi-process architecture.
  7. It includes native tools for database administration and migration.
  8. Data import/export
  9. Load balancing and distribution
  10. Backup facility with an opportunity to adjust and schedule as per the needs.

3. SQLite

SQLite is a C programming software library that works as an excellent relational database management software system. The word ‘lite’ in the name indicates the lightweight nature of the database administration, setup, and essential source. Developed by D. Richard Hipp on August 17, 2000, the stable version release date of SQLite 3.26.0 is December 1, 2018.

SQLite

(Source: SQLite)

Features:

  1. Before using, you don’t need to ‘install’ SQLite and also, no ‘setup’ procedure is required. It is accessing just through simple download with zero-configuration requirements.
  2. Majority of SQL database engines perform over separate server process. However, there is no different server process for installing, setting up, configuring, managing, initializing and troubleshooting the software program.
  3. A single ordinary disk file – SQLite database storage anywhere in the hierarchy of the directory.  
  4. The SQLite software supports cross-platform file format.
  5. The software is compact. The entire library optimizes to less than 500 KiB in size.
  6. Static typing format usable in most of SQL database engines. Whereas, this restriction is a ‘no follow’ in case of SQLite with involving manifest typing.
  7. SQLite uses variable-length records. It only uses the amount of disk space required for storing the information in a row.
  8. The SQLite source code is designed to read and access by the average level of programmer.
  9. Compilation of the SQL statements into virtual machine code.
  10. Public domain based source code of SQLite brings no copyright claim from the company’s end.  
  11. SQLite provides a significant level of enhancements to the SQL language that generally remains absent in other database engines.

4. PostgreSQL

An object-relational database management system – PostgreSQL, founded 22 years ago on July 8, 1996, is a product of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group that is written in C language and operates in most Unix-like operating systems and Windows. The stable version date of the software PostgreSQL 11.1 is November 8, 2018.

PostgreSQL

(Source: PostgreSQL)

Features:

  1. PostgreSQL software is compatible with the majority of platforms where you can use all major languages and middleware.
  2. The locking mechanism it offers is quite sophisticated.
  3. It supports concurrency control to multiple levels.
  4. Its server-side programming functionality is very mature than other programs.
  5. It is compliant with the standards directed per ANSI SQL.
  6. Excellently supports architecture of the client-server network.
  7. SSL replication based on log and trigger functions.
  8. It makes high availability of the program with supporting the facility of stand by server.
  9. ANSI-SQL2008 compatible and object-oriented software.
  10. Support for JSON permits the software to get linked to other data stores as well.

5. MariaDB:

A community developed relational database management software system – MariaDB, language is C, C++, Bash and Perl languages. The stable version 10.3.12 of this free and open source database management software has the date January 7, 2019. MariaDB Corporation AB and MariaDB Foundation is the founding pillar behind it.

MariaDB

(Source: MariaDB)

Features:

  1. MariaDB covers similar features to MySQL with some added extensions. We can regard it as a new and advanced version of MySQL.
  2. It’s software licensing covers BSD, GPL, and LGPL licenses.
  3. The software involves a massive range of storage engines to work with the RDBMS data source. High-performance storage engines are also there.
  4. The system uses a simplified and standard querying language.
  5. It supports a variety of operating systems and programming languages.
  6. It provides distinctive support for PHP which is one of the most popular languages for web development.
  7. It offers Gulera cluster technology.
  8. It also offers a majority of commands and operations that are not available in MySQL with eliminating the ones performing negatively.

6. FirebirdSQL

FirebirdSQL is a free and open-source relational database management system. This cross-platform application program is in C++ language and its stable version 3.0.4 release date is October 4, 2018.

 

FirebirdSQL

(Source: FirebirdSQL)

Features:

  1. Firebird supports all the major hardware and software platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, etc.
  2. The multi-generational architecture of Firebird helps in developing and supporting hybrid OLAP and OLTP applications.
  3. It provides complete support for triggers and stored procedures involving powerful and developer-friendly SQL language.
  4. Referential integrity.
  5. It supports a large number of tools or options database connectivity like .NET, PHP, Perl etc.
  6. Transactions are entirely ACID compliant.
  7. It includes some additional tools like replication tools and GUI administrative tools.
  8. Incremental backups.
  9. PSQL based full cursor implementation.
  10. Careful writes – fast recovery and avoiding the necessity for transaction logs.

7. Apache Cassandra

As a product from Apache Software Foundation – Apache Cassandra is a free and open-source DBMS that is written in Java, licensed under Apache License 2.0 and its stable version 3.11.3 has been released on August 1, 2018.

Apache Cassandra

(Source: Apache Cassandra)

Features:

  1. Apache Cassandra is a wide column store, distributed and NoSQL database management system.
  2. It supports replication and multi data centre replication.
  3. It is fault-tolerant, scalable and consistent.
  4. A column-oriented database, the distribution design of which depends on Amazon’s Dynamo and data model depends on Google’s Bigtable.
  5. The software is capable of accommodating all the possible data formats.
  6. Cassandra can run on the reasonable commodity hardware and perform fast writes to store a significant amount of data.

8. CouchDB

Another product from Apache Software Foundation – CouchDB is a document-oriented database management system written in Erlang language the stable version 2.3.0 of which release date is December 6, 2018.

CouchDB

(Source: CouchDB)

Features:

  1. The CouchDB database management software provides ACID semantics through multi-version concurrency control.
  2. The software can replicate to different devices like smartphones, etc so that it can go offline for handling data sync for you when the method is back online.
  3. Distributed architecture with replication.
  4. CouchDB provides availability as well as partition tolerance, and so guarantees eventual competency.  
  5. The data in the CouchDB system stores as ‘documents’ having a unique ID, but no document schema is required.
  6. Master setup and supports for resolving conflicts.
  7. Simple operations to create, read, update and delete data.
  8. Advance MapReduce.
  9. Index, combine and transform the operations that work with JavaScript.
  10. RESTful web interface.

9. Neo4j

The graph database type DBM system – Neo4j based on Java is a Neo4j Inc product. The stable version 3.5.1 release date of Neao4j graph database management system is December 20, 2018.

Neo4j

(Source: Neo4j)

Features:

  1. Neo4j supports the property graph data model and full ACID properties, i.e. Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability.
  2. It facilitates scalability by increasing the number of reads and writes.
  3. Replication of data reliability and safety with Neao4j software is best at its own.
  4. It also provides built-in web applications to create and retrieving your graph data.
  5. Neo4j provides CQL, i.e. Cypher Query Language to create, and retrieve data relations without using the complex queries.
  6. It supports query data exported to JSON and XLS format.
  7. It easily represents the semi-structured data.
  8. It provides REST API that should be assessed by any programming language like Scala, Spring, Java, etc.
  9. It facilitates fast management, storage and traversal of nodes and relationships.
  10. It supports indexes with utilizing Apache Lucence.

10. OrientDB

An open-source NoSQL database management software program – OrientDB in Java language is a product by OrientDB Ltd. The stable version 3.0.12 release date of OrientDB is December 10, 2018.

OrientDB

(Source: OrientDB)

 

Features:

  1. Quick installation, i.e. within 60 seconds only is the first quality of OrientDB system.
  2. Open Source NoSQL DBMS features both documents as well as graph DBMSs.
  3. This advanced software performs direct, and super-fast linking from the graph database.
  4. It supports RESTful protocols, HTTP requests and JSON without the interference of any third party or components.
  5. It is a 100% Java-based program and it can run on any platform like Windows, Linux, etc.
  6. It has 2 Apache License, and so it is entirely free to use for any purpose.
  7. OrientDB performs transactions with real ACID properties.
  8. Schema modes are like schema-missed, schema –full and schema-less.

11. MongoDB:

MongoDB is a ‘No SQL’ free and open source database management system. It is a document-oriented software program that runs on multiple operating systems i.e. Linux, Windows Vista, OS X, FreeBSD and Solaris. The software is developed by MongoDB Inc. and licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL). Its stable version 4.0.6 release date is February 5, 2019.

MongoDB

(Source: MongoDB)

Features:

  1. MongoDB supports ad hoc queries. You can search and index any field in the document.
  2. It possesses an exceptional document data model to present the data in the best possible way.
  3. It supports Master Slave Replication.
  4. It supports map reduce and aggregation tools.
  5. It is facilitated by an automatic load balancing configuration because of the data placed in the shards.
  6. It possesses a distributed design system to put data intelligently in the sections.
  7. Operates on multiple platforms and is a schema-less database written in C++.
  8. It uses JavaScript instead of procedures. 

Though, the above-mentioned free and open source database management software solutions are best suitable for the small to medium level businesses, there are other top-class commercial software solutions offered by the leading organizations in the database management industry. The two most powerful DBM solutions are as follows:

A. Oracle Enterprise Manager:

Oracle RDBMS is a proprietary multi-model database management system introduced by the Oracle Corporation. It is written in C, C++, and Assembly language. The software holds proprietary license. Its stable version 19c was recently released on February 13, 2019.

Oracle DBMS

(Source: Oracle Enterprise Manager)

Features:

  1. Oracle is a progressive database community that is used to run data warehousing (DW), online transaction processing (OLTP), and mixed (OLTP & DW) database workloads.
  2. The latest version of the software can be deployed on-premise, on-cloud or in a hybrid-cloud environment.
  3. It works on Linux on x86-64 (only Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux and SUSE distributions, and Microsoft Windows on x86-64.
  4. Oracle Live SQL program is developed to test environment for Oracle Database users.

B. Office365:

Office365 Microsoft Access is a Microsoft-based database management system that combines the relational Jet Engine of Microsoft Database with a variety of software development tools. The highlight is that it comes with a graphical user interface. It is one of the important participants of the Microsoft Office Suite of applications.

Office 365

(Source: Office365)

Features:

  1. MS Access is used by Software developers, data architects and power users to develop application software.
  2. It is supported by Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), an object-based programming language and holds Trialware license.
  3. The latest version 16.0 of the software released on September 24, 2018 will just require one-time purchase by the users.
  4. The relative compatibility with SQL is one of the significant benefits of using Microsoft Access for a programmer.

Kohezion, Toad World, Tibero, and DbVis are other popular database management software solutions available in the market.

If you are already using one from the software solutions listed above, you can freely share your reviews here.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, all the commercial, as well as free database management solutions, have their advantages and disadvantages. Some might be very useful to us, whereas others might not be suitable according to our requirements. Hence, the choice here matters about selecting the one that best suits our criteria.

In today's world of technological growth, a considerable amount of data is stored, updated and modified on a daily basis. So, the need for a qualitative software tool to manage is obvious and is prone to grow in future as well.

Demands for free and open-source database management software solutions are immensely rising in the market. The competition prevailing in today's market environment is making every tool to try best regarding their features to attract more and number of users keeping in mind their price and usage.

These software tools have shown an excellent cost-saving approach and are now immensely preferred by their users due to the practical solutions they impart.

The critical point to consider here is that the open-source products come with some exceptional benefits. They comprise a wealth of data available through the entire community. This way, you can easily find out how you can tweak an open source database to get better scaling or what the limitations actually are, and how well you can work around them.

You can hardly find this kind of information with proprietary databases, where all the activities you do and the capabilities you show are tightly controlled by the vendor.

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Sarah Rose Miller

She is an IT graduate, a research enthusiast, a  gadget lover and a tech writer. Sarah loves to explore every new innovation in the field of technology to help meeting quests of the readers regarding knowing about new gadget in the market, tech news and publications as well. She is a professional Research and Tech Writer at GoodFirms.co

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