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The top 7 free and open source database software solutions

Published on May 11th, 2020 by Ines Bahr

Update May 11, 2020: The free and open source database software solutions on this list have been updated.

The top 7 free and open source database software solutions

I like pizza. No, that's not true: I.lovePizza. Especially when it's free. Unfortunately, on my journey through the endless maze of growing up, I had to learn that pizza isn't always free.

The situation is very different in the world of database management software, however: there is a wide variety of free and open source database software.

After all, often enough IT departments' budgets are not exactly huge, and cost savings are always a good way to stay in business and keep IT out of debt. Everyone likes things that don't cost anything.

Think again about how delicious free melted mozzarella cheese tastes, and let's take a look at these seven awesome free and open source database software solutions to do your department budget a favor.

The top 7 free and open source database software solutions

CUBRID

CUBRID is a great free, open source option specially optimized for web applications. This is particularly useful when complex web services process large amounts of data and generate large simultaneous requests. This solution is implemented in C.

advantages

  • Multiple granularity locking
  • Online backup
  • GUI tools and drivers for the programming languages
    • JDBC, PHP, Python, Perl and Ruby
  • Auto-failover function with 24/7 online web service
  • Support of native DB sharding for horizontal / vertical scalability
    • Large systems distribute data across multiple database instances
  • Database replication and transaction consistency

disadvantage

  • Does not work on Apple systems
  • Not a script debugger
  • Instructions only available in English (older versions also in Korean, if that helps)
  • Little community. The former forum was little used. It has now been switched to Reddit, but so far the subreddit only has 27 members (as of April 2020)

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Firebird

This relational database has been used in production systems since 1981 (under different names) and offers many ANSI SQL standards. Firebird can run on Linux, Windows, and various Unix platforms.

advantages

  • Trace API for real-time monitoring
  • Windows Trusted Authentication
  • Four supported architectures:
    • SuperClassic, Classic, SuperServer and Embedded
  • Numerous development tools:
    • Commercial tools: FIBPlus and IBObjects
  • Automatic sweep option to clean up the database
  • Event notifications from database triggers and stored procedures
  • Free support from the large global Firebird community
  • Runs on Windows, Linux, Android and macOS X

disadvantage

  • Integrated replication support is not included (only as an add-on)
  • No temporary tables and no integration into other database systems
  • Windows authentication is poor compared to other open source solutions
  • A large range of functions sometimes makes things a little more complex than necessary

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MariaDB

MariaDB was developed by the original developers of MySQL and is used by technology giants like Wikipedia, Facebook, and even Google. MariaDB is a database server that can directly replace the functions of MySQL. Security is a top priority and is a top priority for MariaDB developers. With each release, the developers also integrate all MySQL security patches and improve them if necessary.

advantages

  • High scalability and easy integration
  • Real-time access
  • Core functions of MySQL
  • Anyone who knows MySQL can do MariaDB
  • Alternative storage engines, server optimizations and patches
  • Extensive knowledge base compiled over the 20 years that MariaDB has operated

disadvantage

  • No plugin for password complexity
  • No memcached interface
  • No optimizer trace

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MongoDB

MongoDB was founded in 2007 and is known as the "Big Ideas Database". The developers of MongoDB are also behind DoubleClick, ShopWiki and Gilt Groupe, and it also supports well-known investors such as Fidelity Investments, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Intel Capital. MongoDB has been downloaded 20 million times since inception and is supported by over 1,000 partners. These partners share the free open source solution's belief that programming and databases should be simple and natural.

advantages

  • Document validation
  • Encrypted storage engine
  • Common use cases:
  • Real-time apps with in-memory storage engine (beta)
  • Reduces the time between primary failure and recovery

disadvantage

  • Not suitable for applications that require complex transactions
  • No direct replacement for old applications

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MySQL

MySQL has been on the market since 1995 and is now owned by Oracle. While it is open source, there are several paid versions available that offer additional features such as cluster geo-replication and auto-scaling. MySQL is an industry standard and is therefore compatible with almost every operating system. It was written in C and C ++. The solution is an excellent option for international users, as the server can output error messages in multiple languages ​​and supports multiple different character sets.

advantages

  • Host-based verification
  • Can also be used when no network is available
  • Flexible authorization and password system
  • Security encryption of all password traffic
  • Library that can be embedded in standalone applications
  • Provides server as a separate program for client / server network environments

disadvantage

  • Acquired by Oracle:
    • Users feel that MySQL can no longer be considered free and open source
    • No longer community based
    • Members cannot fix bugs or create patches
    • Lags behind others due to slow updates

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PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is another excellent open source option that has been actively developed for over 15 years and used on all major operating systems including Linux, UNIX (AIX, BSD, HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Mac OS X, Solaris, Tru64) and Windows can be. In addition, PostgreSQL fully complies with ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability).

advantages

  • Create custom data types and query methods
  • Framework enables the definition and creation of your own user-defined data types
  • Executes stored procedures in more than a dozen programming languages:
    • Java, Perl, Python, Ruby, Tcl, C / C ++ and our own PL / pgSQL
  • GiST system (Generalized Search Tree)
    • Combines different sorting and search algorithms:
      • B-tree, B + -tree, R-tree, partial sum trees, and tiered B-trees
  • Creation of extensions like CitusDB for more parallelism without changing the Postgres code

disadvantage

  • MVCC system requires regular maintenance via the "VACUUM" process
    • Issues in high transaction rate environments
  • Development takes place through a broad community
    • Improvements are relatively expensive

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SQLite

SQLite has been around since 2000 and describes itself as the most widely served database in the world. Well-known companies such as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google have already used the tool. Every publication is carefully tested to ensure its reliability and stability. If there should be bugs, the SQLite developers deal honestly with potential deficiencies and publish bug lists and lists of code changes for each release.

advantages

  • No separate server process
  • Cross-platform file format
  • Compact library: runs faster, even with more memory
  • Transactions are ACID compliant
  • Professional support is available

disadvantage

  • Not recommended for:
    • Client / server applications
    • Large volume websites
    • Big data sets
    • High non-sequentiality

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Ideas?

Have I forgotten any important advantages or disadvantages of the above solutions? Do you know any better free software alternatives for database management? Then tell us in the comments.

This article may refer to products, programs, or services that are not available in your region or that may be restricted by country laws or regulations. We recommend contacting the software provider directly for information on product availability and legal compliance.

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