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Top 5 Best Databases

As part of the contest we conducted recently, we got 160+ comments from the geeky readers who choose their favorite database.

Based on this data, the top spot goes to.. drum roll please..


If you are new to any of the top 5 database mentioned here, please read the rest of the article to understand more about them.

1. MySQL

MySQL is used in almost all the open source web projects that require a database in the back-end. MySQL is part of the powerful LAMP stack along with Linux, Apache and PHP.

This was originally created by a company called MySQL AB, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle. Since we don’t what Oracle will do with MySQL database, open source community has created several forks of MySQL including Drizzle and MariaDB.

Following are few key features:

  • Written in C and C++.
  • MyISAM storage uses b-tree disk tables with index compression for high performance.
  • Support for partitioning and replication.
  • Support for Xpath, full text search.
  • Support for stored procedures, triggers, views etc.,

Additional Information:

2. PostgreSQL

PotgreSQL is a open source object-relational database system. It runs on most *nix flavours, Windows and Mac OS. This has full support for joins, views, triggers, stored procedures etc.,

Following are few key features:

  • MVCC – Multi-Version Concurrency Control
  • Hot backups and point-in-time recovery
  • Support for tablespaces
  • Asynchronous replication
  • Highly scalable

Additional Information:

3. Oracle

Oracle is the best database for any mission critical commercial application. Oracle has following four different editions of the database: 1) Enterprise Edition 2) Standard Edition 3) Standard Edition One 4) Express Edition

Following are few key features of the oracle database.

  • Real Application Cluster (RAC)
  • Data Guard for standby database
  • Virtual Private Database
  • Automatic Memory, Storage and Undo Management
  • OLAP, Partitioning, Data Mining
  • Advance Queuing, XML DB, Support for Spatial data
  • Flashback Database, Query, Table and Transaction

Additional Information:

4. SQLite

SQLite does not work like a traditional client-server model with standalone process. Instead, it is a self-contained, server-less SQL database engine.

Main Features of SQLite:

  • Zero configuration with no setup or admin tasks.
  • Complete database is stored in a single disk file.
  • No external dependencies
  • Supports database of several TB in size
  • Work on most *nix flavors, Mac OS X, windows. It’s also cross-platform.
  • WinCE is supported out-of-the box

Additional Information:

5. Microsoft SQL Server

This is Microsoft’s flagship Database product. If you are stuck in a company that heavily uses Microsoft products, you might end-up working on MS SQL Server.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bigsow March 22, 2010, 3:11 am

    why don’t you notice about casandra?

  • vivek March 22, 2010, 7:05 am

    Is it possible that only people having knowledge of MySQL or interested in learning more about MySQL are coming to this site as the difference between first and others is really huge which either makes mockery of the contest or implies that MySQL dominates more than 70% of the DB market. Just a thought..

  • Marcus Rhodes March 22, 2010, 9:10 am

    Oracle best for mission-critical apps?! Another fine example of how consensus should not be taken for reality.

    You’d be surprised, I’m sure, to learn just how much of the world actually runs on one of the many flavours of Pick/Multi-value, and that because they have learned the hard way, rather than by the consensus of observers and mono-theists, what actually works best.

    Pick’s data-structures and file-system, while unusual, are simple to comprehend and use. Its query language was among the first. And it is so easy to program that most Pick ‘programmers’ are really little more than advanced users. (So, if you’re looking for a field where your structured, objective, collaborative programming skills will catapult you to the forefront, here’s a field that’s wide open.) (And the pay’s pretty good, too!)

    Oracle is a false friend to Linux. SQL and friends are really just annexes of Microsoft.

    As databases go, ‘Pick’ is Linux’s truest friend, and, as such, warrants at least some recognition if not promotion.

  • S Atluri March 22, 2010, 9:33 am

    I don’t see any ranking for DB2 UDB or sybase…

  • Rich M March 22, 2010, 11:54 am

    I think the title of this entry is somewhat misleading ‘Top 5 Best Databases’. Top 5 best databases for what? Top 5 best databases for small internet applications?

    I’m underwhelmed that the title of this piece does not take into account the databases mentioned above by S Atluri, or indeed the Progress OpenEdge RDBMS which all have huge user bases to take into account.

    The question on the link provided is “What is your favourite Database?” – This certainly is not related to the article title mentioned on this page?

  • Peter Veentjer March 23, 2010, 1:37 am

    Postgresql, Mysql + InnoDb and Oracle all use MVCC. And Afaik the newer sql servers also have some form of snapshot isolation.

  • Emre March 23, 2010, 5:48 am

    I agree to Rich M. Title is misleading. Also I think it should be “database systems” or “database management systems” in title 🙂

  • nitko nigdje March 23, 2010, 6:09 am

    Any database system at least allows for:
    1) data model
    2) atomic, safe and concurrent access to data
    3) consistency of data
    4) administration procedures (backup, recovery, etc..)

    The only thing which SQLlite has is a data model. It’s not a DB.

  • kunal kadu March 23, 2010, 8:43 am

    i want to learn how to configure DNS serv er, NIS server in red hat Linux…..pls forward me the complete configuration….thanks in advance.

  • code43 March 30, 2010, 12:46 pm

    For NoSQL via Python, definitely check out the y_serial module which uses SQLite as database — amazingly simple yet persistent: http://yserial.sourceforge.net for more info and tutorial within the code itself.

  • Vivek April 10, 2010, 2:35 am

    I am belonging to the category 5. But I expected you to give a technical up-down on it. I too come from Microsoft hating community.

    Ignoring something is not the mature way to give your opinions. Please add more info and why MS SQL is so despicable, leaving out the compatibility woes.