It’s commonly believed that the backend is the more difficult route to take when beginning your programming journey. This belief has deterred many potential backend developers from going down this path. What if I told you that backend programming doesn’t have to be difficult, and that with the right set of tools, it could be easy, and even fun? Tools like backend databases make development much simpler. With the right database keeping your information safe, you enjoy added confidence as a backend developer. If this sounds good, then you’ll want to keep reading to discover the advantages and drawbacks of some popular backend tools.
What is a Backend Database?
A backend database is where data is kept to be accessed by users via separate applications. Essentially, data is stored in one application, and users can call on that data through a separate app. In this article, you’ll learn the details of five different backend database tools along with their pros and cons so that you can better understand how they can be utilized.
Backend Database Tools
Now that we know what a backend database is and what it does, let's look at some databases to get you started on your journey to becoming a better backend developer.
MySQL is an open-source database management system that’s easily recognizable and broadly utilized for web-based applications. It’s fast, and it performs at a high level. MySQL is rated highly for its quality, scalability, and usability. Also quite reliable, MySQL works seamlessly when paired with several other platforms. Also, it has noteworthy classification support, and its data security is strong in addition to several other features. MySQL boasts a wide range of prominent operating systems (OS) and high compatibility with some of the most well-known programming languages, including Java and PHP.
Pros of MySQL
Now that we fully understand MySQL and what it does, let's look at a few of its pros:
- Organized: As a relative database management system or RDBMS, MySQL stores and presents data in easily understandable tabular forms organized in rows and columns.
- Secure: MySQL has a solid data security layer that protects sensitive information from intruders. Passwords on MySQL are encrypted.
- Open-source: As an open-source database management system, MySQL is available for free download directly from the official site.
- Widely Compatible: MySQL works well with most operating systems, like Windows, MacOS, Linux, Netware, and Solaris.
- Flexible: MySQL is very flexible, and it supports a large number of embedded apps.
Cons of MySQL
Although there are many advantages to this database, here are some of its drawbacks:
- Limited Capacity: MySQL does not handle large databases well.
- Weak Tools: Compared to some paid databases, the open-source MySQL has an inferior developing and debugging tool.
- Vulnerable: MySQL can be prone to data corruption due to its inefficiency when handling transactions.
- No Check Constraints: MySQL does not support SQL check constraints.
Notable Users of MySQL
I've learned that it usually helps users to look at the caliber of its big-name users to determine the quality of a product. Here are some notable users of MySQL:
MongoDB is a free, popular, open-source database, and it’s highly sought after by developers. This NoSQL database utilizes JSON-styled documents with selective schemas for storing and retrieving data. It also creates an attractive means of scalability and flexibility. MongoDB offers outstanding features like file storage, load balancing, transactions, and aggregation. As a bonus, when it comes to MongoDB’s security and data retrieval, it’s superior to other database management systems. MongoDB also boasts a wide range of compatibility with well-known programming languages like Python, Java, C/C++, etc.
Pros of MongoDB
We've covered a brief overview of MongoDB. Now, let's look at some of the pros of using it:
- Fast: Due to its document-oriented nature, MongoDB offers its users high speed and performance.
- Flexible: MongoDB is a flexible, NoSQL database system, which makes it suitable for both structured and unstructured data. It's also schema-less, meaning users can store any type of data they want.
- Convenient Support: MongoDB gives its users access to professional technical support. If you run into issues, an expert is waiting for you to reach out.
- Ad-hoc Queries: MongoDB supports ad-hoc queries. It allows for on-the-spot ad-hoc query updates.
- Sharding: With MongoDB sharding, users don't have to worry about the server struggling with large data sets. Sharding allows data to be divided between multiple servers for processing while normal activities progress smoothly.
Cons of MongoDB
Despite the above-listed pros, MongoDB might not be for every user. Here are a few reasons why:
- Dependent on Index Quality: MongoDB relies heavily on good indexes. This means that incorrectly implemented indexes can drastically impact its speed or performance negatively.
- Data Duplication: The duplication of data is an issue.
- Heavy Space and Memory Demands: MongoDB takes up a lot of space and uses a lot of memory.
- Data Size Limit: With MongoDB, your data size is limited to a measly 16MB. On top of that, documents can’t be nested in more than 100 levels. However, that could change with the release of future updates.
Notable Users of MongoDB
Here are some notable users of MongoDB:
PostgreSQL is one of the most high-level, multipurpose, object-relational database management systems. It’s open source, which means that its source code is easily accessible under the PostgreSQL license. Therefore, anyone with the right skills can freely utilize, alter, and distribute it in any form. All in all, PostgreSQL is highly stable, and little effort is needed to maintain this database.
Present-day databases like MySQL and Hive operate similarly in establishing relationships among data. However, PostgreSQL offers a bit more in table inheritance and function overloading as it supports the idea of data objects.
Pros of PostgreSQL
Continuing with the structure of this article, here are some pros of utilizing PostgreSQL:
- Open Source: PostgreSQL’s source code is made available for free under an open-source agreement. Because of this, businesses can utilize and even modify it to suit their needs.
- Simple: PostgreSQL is easy to use. New users don't need much training to learn it from scratch.
- Low Maintenance: PostgreSQL has low maintenance and administration needs for both enterprise use and embedded use.
- Tolerant: It’s very tolerant of faults due to its write-ahead logging.
- Available: PostgreSQL has great availability.
Cons of PostgreSQL
Now, we understand PostgreSQL some of its benefits. However, what are some of the things that could deter users from choosing PostgreSQL? Here are some of its drawbacks:
- Low Awareness: PostgreSQL does not belong solely to any organization, and it has had some trouble with awareness despite all of its features.
- Relatively Slow: PostgreSQL is slower than some of its competitors.
- Limited Compatibility: PostgreSQL is not as supported by a lot of open-source apps as some of its competitors are.
- Time-Consuming to Alter: If changes need to occur for better speed on PostgreSQL, it usually takes more effort than it would on some of its competitors.
Notable Users of PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL also boasts an impressive lineup of notable users:
An Oracle database is actually a group of databases acting as one. Oracle is an object relations system for database management that was developed and distributed by the Oracle Corporation.
Oracle was written in C and C++ and is most commonly utilized when running online transaction processing, data warehousing, and mixed data workloads. Oracle can run on third-party servers and Oracle hardware.
Pros of Oracle
Let’s look at some of the positive features of Oracle:
- Versatile: The Oracle database is highly portable and can run on over 20 networking protocols and no less than 100 hardware platforms.
- Efficient Backup and Recovery: With the Oracle database, users gain access to an excellent data backup and recovery system.
- High Performance: Oracle offers users superior performance and high speed.
- Manages Multiple Databases: Oracle supports multiple databases. One of the top advantages users get when they use the Oracle database is that it seamlessly manages more than one database within the same transaction.
- Updates: Oracle keeps users in the loop about the next major release or any potential changes to keep users informed.
Cons of Oracle
Here are some disadvantages of Oracle:
- Complex: One big disadvantage of using the Oracle database is how complex it can be. Users who are not technically savvy might have a hard time using Oracle.
- Expensive: The Oracle database price point is far higher than most of its competitors, which can limit its accessibility to developers. New and potential users would have to come prepared with deep pockets.
- Difficult to Learn: Oracle has a steep learning curve, and any users new to the world of backend databases would be advised to start somewhere else.
Notable Users of Oracle
A lot of big names seem to agree that Oracle is the way to go. These power players utilize Oracle:
Microsoft SQL Server
Initially released in 1989 with its first stable release in 2019, Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. The database is written in C and C++, and it functions well with various operating systems like Linux, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft. This database has also been made available in several languages like English, French, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, German, Korean, Russian, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Microsoft SQL Pros
Microsoft SQL also has an impressive list of reasons why it could be the perfect pick for you. So, what does it offer? Here are some of its pros:
- Secure: Microsoft SQL offers its users improved data security. By allowing users to work with a table structure that connects data elements and functions, it helps secure user data.
- Easy to Install: The installation and configuration of Microsoft SQL servers is easy compared to that of any of its competitors.
- Optimized Storage: Microsoft SQL users are privy to optimized data storage. This means that users don't need different data storage from the same database on another device.
- Data Recovery: If there is a power interruption or server shutdown, data may become corrupted. However, Microsoft SQL data recovery support ensures the risk of losing data with its advanced data recovery and restoration features.
Cons of Microsoft SQL
Microsoft SQL might not be the right fit for everyone. Here are a few reasons why that may be:
- Paid Features: While Microsoft SQL has a free version, users have to make sizable payments for better versions of the software in order to enjoy its advanced database applications and features.
- Less Compatible: Microsoft SQL has restricted compatibility, unlike most of its competitors.
- Requires Modern Hardware: The latest versions of Microsoft SQL Server require up-to-date technologies to operate. Therefore, if your hardware is comprised of mainly older equipment, you might need to invest in more modern machines in order to use Microsoft SQL Server.
Notable Users of Microsoft SQL Server
As you may have guessed, let's look at some of the big names that use Microsoft SQL Server:
There you have it. Backend programming isn't so hard after all! It doesn't just end here, though. There are other tools that are equally as important as these that are designed to make your job as a backend developer much easier and more enjoyable. For instance, you can further explore various code editors and IDEs, website performance tools, testing tools, and so on, as per your requirements!