Whether you’re a marketer or software developer, you may be familiar with databases. These components store and organize data into a convenient form within a computer system. Unlike spreadsheets, databases operate on a larger scale and handle more complex forms of data. However, selecting the best database software can be daunting, given the wide range of options available. When making a decision, factors such as complexity, security, integrations, and pricing must be taken into account.
If you’re seeking free database software, there are two main categories: relational and non-relational. Choosing among them depends on your business requirements. To determine the right fit, you must ask the right questions regarding a software’s capabilities and your application goals. Relational database software, which helps businesses draw meaningful information through linked tables, provides an organized collection of data elements linked together by predefined associations. IBM Db2, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and MariaDB are some of the best free relational databases on the market.
In contrast, document databases store data in document form, without relying on predefined associations. Document database software like Couchbase, ArangoDB, and Percona Server for MongoDB enables programmers to save and query data in a database, making it easier to retrieve data. By indexing and searching over collections of documents, document databases provide flexible and robust ad hoc searches and analytics.