What DBMS should you use?

There are quite literally hundreds of different database management systems (DBMS) available on the market today, but which one is suitable for you and your business? When you start on your journey to try and establish which is suitable, you’re very likely to come across:

  • Oracle
  • IBM DB2
  • Microsoft SQL Server

The reason for this is that the above currently account for around 85% of the DBMS market share, with Oracle having the lion’s share of it. Oracle is an excellent DBMS to consider; it’s a database platform that’s more catered for the larger business with naturally bigger budgets to play around with, which is mainly down to Oracle’s stringent licensing structure. Microsoft SQL Server is another DBMS that has been around for well over two decades. It has successfully won the respect of experienced DBA’s and developers from around the world as an important potential choice when considering a database platform for an application. However, again, much like IBM’s DB2 offering, larger IT budgets need to be considered when opting for one of the big 3 DBMS platforms. It’s no surprise that the aforementioned DBMS platforms account for such a large share of the market today, as each one is backed by huge multi-national conglomerates with massive marketing budgets. I’m not in any way implying that the big 3 are where they are solely because of good marketing and sales techniques (it does obviously help), as each database offering has excellent features that have been well developed by large development teams over many years.

Budget isn’t the only aspect to consider when considering which DBMS you should use for your business. You must understand what your business needs are. For example, say the application environment your business deals with is highly transactional data, that’s quite transient, exponential database growth could well be something your business needs to consider. With this in mind, if your DBMS has the ability to partition your data, logically and equally, this will allow your DBA’s to drop data that’s no longer required by the business quickly, to recover valuable disk space. The scenario just described is quite typical. The person charged with selecting the DBMS in this scenario may want to ensure that the technology they decide to go with has some sort of partitioning functionality built within it, that their DBA’s could take advantage of. Of course, there are hundreds of potential business scenarios to consider, far too many to list in this particular short blog but the underlying point remains. Consider the largest impacting business needs and then ensure the DBMS you choose will help you fulfill that need. Also, just as important, you need to consider what your application vendor recommends. The applications that you’ve chosen to go with may only be compatible with certain DBMS technologies, so always ensure you speak to the application vendor as you may limited to the DBMS you can choose to use. Also, you may come across certain features that a DBMS has, and therefore want an application that’s compatible with it.

Many companies, regardless of their size, are deciding on a more hybrid approach when it comes to the DBMS they use within their organization. For example, for their more mission critical systems, they’re deciding to use one of the big 3 technologies mentioned earlier in the blog. However, when it comes to particular in-house systems, for example an internal HR system, they’re deciding to use one of the many other DBMS technologies out there with significantly less licensing costs, such as NoSQL, document, object, in-memory or graph databases. In doing so, they limit the applications needed to be used on the expensive DBMS systems, thus making further savings when it comes to licensing. RDB have particular experience with NoSQL offerings. Take MongoDB as an excellent example. MongoDB is a robust platform that’s has performance and scalability at its core. There’s more and more movement in today’s fast-pact information technology arena for new and exciting systems that can handle enterprise level workloads. This is something that we are seeing a lot of and have first-hand experience of.

At RDB, we remain completely impartial when It comes to which database technology you should use. If you’re struggling to make the choice that’s right for your business, contact us today and we can help you make that choice.

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Wakaas Hussain

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