A business owner looking at data
About 463 exabytes of data will be created every day by 2025

By 2025, we will be creating 463 exabytes of data daily.

The production and use of data has become immense prompting organizations to seek effective ways to store and manage information critical to their business.

These solutions are popularly referred to as “database management software.”

In this article, we outline the best database software solutions you can leverage to store and manage data to drive deep insights for better decision making and greater efficiency.

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What Is Database Software?

Database software is a system used to create databases where users can store, control and manipulate data to generate relevant reports and insights.

Also known as database management software (DBMS), these tools allow organizations to store different types of information in various formats and structures while keeping them safe and secure from external threats.

The primary goals of each database program are to manage:

  • The data that enters the database
  • The mechanism that controls the data
  • The organization of the data

Top Subscription-Based Database Software

These are the best subscription-based database software programs of 2021:

best database software: Knack
[Source: Knack]

#1: Knack [Free Trial Available]

Knack is a no-code, Cloud-based database management system that businesses can use to build online databases and create their own workflow solutions.

Users can take advantage of the great number of customizable templates available within the platform and structure and extend data with no coding required.

From Fortune 500 companies and startups to educational institutions and charities, the software is trusted by 4,000+ customers among which reputable companies like HP and Harvard University.

According to Capterra, in 2020, Knack ranked as one of the:

  • Best ease of use portal software
  • Best ease of use application development software
  • Best value application development software

Key features:

  • App builder
  • Payment processing
  • Customization tools
  • Inventory manager
  • Donations manager
  • Project manager
  • Event calendar
  • Job listing
  • eCommerce features
  • Maps
  • Product catalog
  • API integrations
  • Reporting and analytics

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac

Pros:

  • Easy to use interface
  • No coding knowledge required
  • eCommerce capabilities
  • Real-time insights
  • Cloud-based

Cons:

  • Can be slow at times
  • Not the perfect customer service
  • Small bugs
  • Pricing is too high for the amount of storage users get

Cost:

Knack is a paid tool and offers three pricing structures:

  • Starter ($39/month)
  • Pro ($79/month)
  • Corporate ($179/month)
  • Free trial? Yes, 14 days (no credit card required)
Get started with Knack today.
Try Knack
best database software: Oracle RDBMS
[Source: Oracle]

#2: Oracle RDBMS [Free Trial Available]

Oracle RDBMS is one of the best database software systems on the market because it allows companies to store information into rows and columns, making it much easier for business owners and employees to locate data and specific values for analysis.

The platform provides users with agility and innovation but also a high level of security layers, so it is developed the way to withstand hardware failure.

Users can store data on-premises or in the Cloud which can benefit both enterprises and database administrators alike.

According to Statista, Oracle is the most popular database management software (as of December 2020) with a ranking score of 1325.6.

Key features:

  • Access controls/permissions
  • Backup and recovery
  • Automation of routine functions
  • Data migration
  • Data replication
  • Database conversion
  • Performance analysis
  • Relational
  • Virtualization
  • Clustering
  • Application builder tools

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, UNIX, Linux

Pros:

  • Optimized for high-performance database workload
  • Automation for admins
  • Does not occupy much space
  • Supports large databases
  • Strong security
  • Reduces CPU time to process data
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • Outdated design
  • Complex to use
  • Not affordable for smaller size companies

Cost:

The cost of Oracle RDBMS varies across different company sizes and industries. So, businesses should contact the organization for pricing details.

Free trial? Yes, 30 days (credit card required).

Get started with Oracle RDBMS today.
Try Oracle RDBMS
best database software: Altibase
[Source: Altibase]

#3: Altibase

Altibase is open-source database software that has a fast working and user-friendly hybrid architecture.

The platform allows for high-intensity data processing and real-time management through an in-memory database portion.

Thanks to its in-memory and disk storage, the software eliminates the need for purchasing in-memory DB and on-disk DB separately.

Altibase is quite popular among many notable organizations like Samsung, HP and Hyundai mostly for its large storage capacity.

Key features:

  • IMDB (In-memory Database) that is much faster than conventional on-disk databases
  • Flexible deployment mode:
    • In-memory only
    • On-disk only
  • Hybrid (memory and disk tables)
  • Multiple durability options:
    • Process level durability (fastest option)
    • OS level durability (default option)
    • Enduring HW power failure (safest option)
  • Productivity and administration tools
  • Interoperability and migration tools

Supported platforms:

  • Multi-platform support

Pros:

  • High performance
  • Enterprise-grade
  • Relational DBMS
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • Not ideal for data wares
  • No mobile access
  • Lacks support for global indexes
  • Does not support server and client for Windows

Cost:

Altibase offers several paid subscription options. For detailed info on these, you need to contact the vendor directly.

Free trial? Not available.

As open-source database software, Altibase also offers a free version.

Get started with Altibase today!
Try Altibase
best database software: Improvado
[Source: Improvado]

#4: Improvado

Developed by marketers for marketers, Improvado is online database software that users can leverage to aggregate all their marketing data in real-time and in one single place.

With this platform, both small and large enterprises can reduce their manual reporting efforts by up to 90% without needing any developer knowledge.

Improvado is a highly flexible and scalable solution with a custom dashboard where users are able to measure and compare the performance of ad channels and campaigns as well as track their customers’ conversion paths.

Key features:

  • ROI tracking
  • Data collection
  • Customer insights
  • Multi-user access
  • Campaign activity
  • Campaign insights
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Campaign stickiness
  • Multichannel tracking
  • Brand optimization

Supported platforms:

  • Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows

Pros:

  • No developer knowledge required
  • Integration with many third-party tools like Facebook and Google Adwords
  • Great for brands managing spend on different marketing channels
  • Robust reporting system
  • Data visualization
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Onboarding is a bit complex
  • Customization options are limited

Cost:

To get the pricing options for this best database software you need to get in touch with the company (either via phone or chat) as their paid plans are custom.

Free trial? Not available.

Get started with Improvado today.
Try Improvado
best database software: Microsoft SQL Server
[Source: Microsoft SQL Server]

#5: Microsoft SQL Server [Free Trial Available]

Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most powerful relational database management software solutions on the market for medium to large enterprises.

Businesses can use it to store and retrieve different types of requests and developers can leverage it to create modern applications using their preferred language and environment.

Some of the biggest advantages of this software are turning raw data into meaningful reports and managing workload effectively and efficiently.

Key features:

  • Backup and recovery
  • Workload management
  • Advanced indexing
  • Query optimizer
  • Storage
  • Data manipulation
  • Automatic plan correction

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Linux

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Intuitive and fairly straightforward to use
  • Support of most data types (int, char, varchar, float)
  • Security
  • Stability
  • Scalability
  • Constant improvements

Cons:

  • Installation of all the features can be difficult
  • Long query execution may take too much time than expected
  • A bit expensive

Cost:

Microsoft SQL Server has several paid options that start at $931 and can go up to $14,256 for a one-time purchase.

Free trial? Yes (no credit card required).

There are also free options available.

Get started with Microsoft SQL Server today.
Try Microsoft SQL Server
best database software: Amazon RDS
[Source: Amazon RDS]

#6: Amazon RDS [Free Trial Available]

We can rank Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) among the best database software systems on the market mostly for its ability to automate time-consuming administration tasks including:

  • Hardware provisioning
  • Setup
  • Patching
  • Backups

It allows businesses to process heavy workloads in a single database system that is highly flexible and scalable.

Some of the most common use cases of Amazon RDS are:

  • Web and mobile apps
  • eCommerce apps
  • Mobile and online games

Key features:

  • Access controls/permissions
  • Backup and recovery
  • Data migration
  • Data replication
  • Mobile access
  • Multiple programming languages supported
  • Performance analysis
  • Relational
  • Virtualization
  • Easy storage scaling
  • Automatic host replacement
  • Event notifications

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac, Linux

Pros:

  • Secure platform
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Highly scalable
  • Fast
  • Inexpensive
  • Many controls and features for users
  • Robust customer support
  • Cloud-based

Cons:

  • Requires deep understanding of the AWS ecosystem to be able to automate and scale efficiently
  • Clunky user interface

Cost:

According to the technology company, Amazon RDS is free to try where you will pay only for what you use.

You can calculate the monthly cost using the AWS Pricing Calculator.

Free trial? Yes, 12 months (credit card required).

Get started with Amazon RDS today.
Try Amazon RDS
data management software: Teradata Vantage
[Source: Teradata Vantage]

#7: Teradata Vantage [Free Trial Available]

Terada Vantage is one of the oldest database management software systems on the market that allows organizations to manage, import and export complex data queries with an excellent processing speed.

This cloud data analytics platform requires no coding knowledge and businesses can unify and integrate any type of data from different sources and sectors into various formats.

Key features:

  • Data integration
  • Real-time processing
  • Data manipulation
  • Advanced analytics
  • Complex workload management

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Linux

Pros:

  • Fast load capabilities
  • No coding required
  • Amalgamated data storage
  • Real-time processing
  • Enterprise-level operational activities
  • Easy data import and export

Cons:

  • Outdated GUI
  • Third-party tools not always responsive

Cost:

Teradata is a paid tool where users will pay only for what they used.

Free trial? Yes, 30 days (no credit card required).

Get started with Terada Vantage today.
Try Terada Vantage
data management software: IBM DB2
[Source: IBM DB2]

#8: IBM DB2 [Free Trial Available]

What makes IBM DB2 one of the best database software on the market is the ability to use it without needing any professional skills or the help of a database administrator.

With an intuitive interface and easy-to-use data migration processes, the software is suitable for users of different proficiency levels.

It is very easy to install and set up and organizations can take advantage of it to cope with demanding workloads while reducing cost and improving business agility.

Key features:

  • Database conversion
  • Data manipulation
  • Anomaly detection
  • Database monitoring
  • Task scheduling
  • Legacy software
  • XML support

Supported platforms:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • UNIX

Pros:

  • Easy data migration and setup
  • Smooth administrations through various commands
  • Robust security
  • Integrates with multiple platforms and languages
  • Equipped with AI capabilities
  • Supports private and cloud environments
  • Great HA/DR capabilities

Cons:

  • Fewer region options
  • As data grows in a production environment, it becomes slow
  • Cost rises every year
  • You need to pay for prompt customer support
  • Lack of marketing by IBM
  • Documentation needs to be improved

Cost:

IBM offers two options to use their database management software:

  • Standard edition (inquire)
  • Advanced edition (inquire)
  • Free trial? Yes, 90 days (no credit card required)

There is also a community edition that is free of charge.

Get started with IBM DB2 today.
Try IBM DB2
online database software: Claris FileMaker
[Source: Claris FileMaker]

#9: Claris FileMaker

Claris FileMaker is an application development platform and one of the most popular online database software systems on the market that allows organizations to take on digital transformation and solve their business problems.

Users can create custom apps with their company logos, using built-in templates so no programming skills are required.

With this software, they can manage different types of data including orders and inventory, automate invoicing and more.

Key features:

  • CRM
  • Project management
  • Content library
  • Asset manager
  • Invoicing details
  • Contract management
  • Event planning
  • Field research
  • Supply management
  • Tour dashboard
  • Collaboration tools
  • Deployment management
  • Data modeling

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac

Pros:

  • Easy customization
  • Total security
  • Workflow automation
  • Mobile AI
  • On-premise and Cloud deployment
  • Data export to Excel and PDF
  • Charting tools
  • Developed community

Cons:

  • Not available for Android apps
  • Some time is needed to get to know the scripting and database design to get the most from the app

Cost:

Claris FileMaker offers two pricing structures:

  • Essentials ($19 per user/month/billed annually)
  • Standard ($39 per user/month/billed annually)
  • Free trial? Not available
Get started with Claris FileMaker today.
Try Claris FileMaker
 online database software: MongoBD
[Source: MongoBD]

#10: MongoDB [Free Trial Available]

MongoDB is one of the best database software systems on the market built for modern application developers and for the cloud era.

It is capable of processing large amounts of data, so it is mostly used by large companies that need high-volume data storage.

Some of the notable organizations that have used this software are eBay, Adobe and Google.

MongoDB uses internal memory which allows for quick data accessibility and unlike some other tools, it stores data in documents rather than in tables.

Key features:

  • Access controls/permissions
  • Backup and recovery
  • Data migration
  • Data replication
  • Multi-cloud data distribution
  • Database conversion
  • Multiple programming languages supported
  • Performance analysis
  • Relational
  • Virtualization

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac, Linux

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Secure for sensitive data
  • Designed for developer productivity
  • Reliable for mission-critical workloads
  • Excellent library support for popular programming languages
  • Easy replication of the data
  • Great scalability

Cons:

  • Not a relational database
  • Complex aggregation queries can be tricky
  • No in-built analytics functions
  • Memory consumption is high

Cost:

MongoDB has three pricing options:

  • Cloud (starts at $57/month)
  • On-premises (Inquire)
  • Mobile (cost depends on the usage types; check their website for more info)
  • Free trial? Yes (no credit card required)
Get started with MongoDB today.
Try MongoDB
Redis database program
[Source: Redis]

#11: Redis [Free Trial Available]

Redis is one of the best database software systems on the market that works with an in-memory dataset to ensure high performance.

It allows organizations to sort data into various structures like lists, hashes, sets, strings and more. They can run atomic operations, trigger event-based actions and use the tool as a cashing mechanism.

Key features:

  • Transactions
  • Pub/Sub
  • Lua scripting
  • Keys with a limited time-to-live
  • LRU eviction of keys
  • Automatic failover
  • Access controls/permissions
  • Backup and recovery
  • Data migration
  • Data replication
  • Database conversion
  • Mobile access
  • Multiple programming languages supported
  • NOSQLer
  • Performance analysis
  • Virtualization

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac, Linux

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great performance for reading data
  • Robust support
  • Easy and reliable data distribution

Cons:

  • Lack of monitoring and administration tools
  • Not good native support for storing data in object form
  • Lack of UI

Cost:

For the different commercial packages of the enterprise, you need to send the company a pricing request.

Free trial? Yes, 30 days (no credit card required).

Redis is also a free database software.

Get started with Redis today.
Try Redis
online database software: Snowflake
[Source: Snowflake]

#12: Snowflake [Free Trial Available]

With Snowflake, organizations can run their workloads from a single platform. They can manage different tasks like transactions as well as share and collaborate on live data across their business ecosystems.

What’s unique about this online database software is that it offers a cloud data warehouse built atop Amazon Web Services.

Thanks to Snowflake, organizations can perform fast analytics and reporting that allows them to make accurate and data-driven business decisions.

Key features:

  • Data warehouse modernization
  • Modern data lakes
  • Secure data sharing
  • Modern data application development
  • Integrated data engineering
  • Advanced data science
  • Performance analysis

Supported platforms:

  • Windows, Mac, Linux

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Robust community
  • Handles high volumes of data with ease
  • Fast
  • Secure data sharing
  • High flexibility
  • Built-in support for the most popular data formats

Cons:

  • Users are not notified of updates on functionality
  • Doesn't have the function of auto-fill
  • Lacks support for common table expressions

Cost:

Snowflake offers four different pricing plans:

  • Standard
  • Enterprise
  • Business-critical
  • Virtual Private Snowflake (VPS)
  • Free trial? Yes, $400 worth of free usage (no credit card required)

However, to see pricing you need to pick the preferred platform and region. So, you need to visit the website for accurate info on the cost.

Get started with Snowflake today.
Try Snowflake

Top Free Database Software

These are the top free database software programs of 2021:

free database software: SQLite
[Source: SQLite]

#1: SQLite

SQLite is an open-source, object-relational database management system that requires no installation or dedicated server since the database is stored on a computer hard disk.

The tool is quite lightweight when compared to other popular online database software systems on the market, yet it offers powerful features including high security, fast data sharing and automatic transactions.

Key features:

  • Data manipulation
  • Automatic transactions that are durable after crashes and power failures
  • Comes with a standalone command-line interface (CLI)
  • Backup and recovery
  • Raw data import from CSV files

Supported platforms:

  • Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Solaris, VxWorks, Windows

Pros:

  • Zero-configuration
  • Easy Implementation
  • Fast performance
  • Great for use as an application file format

Cons:

  • Not that easy to scale into larger apps
  • Lack of built-in data encryption
  • Limited for many rows
Get started with SQLite today.
Try SQLite
free database software: PostgreSQL
[Source: PostgreSQL]

#2: PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management software quite popular for its reliability, feature robustness and performance.

It uses the SQL language along with many features that help organizations store and scale complicated data workloads.

Key features:

  • Access controls/permissions
  • Backup and recovery
  • Data migration
  • Data replication
  • Data integrity
  • Database conversion
  • Multiple programming languages supported
  • NOSQL
  • Performance analysis
  • Disaster recovery

Supported platforms:

  • Windows
  • Linux

Pros:

  • High performance
  • Fast data sharing through dashboards
  • Customizable storage interface for tables
  • Supports international character sets
  • Supports several methods of indexation

Cons:

  • No explicit user control over data compression
  • Index operations are slow
  • Installation can be difficult for new users
  • Lacks query language consistency
Get started with PostgreSQL today.
Try PostgreSQL

What Is Open-Source Database Software?

Open-source database software is a software solution with a code that is open and free for anyone to view, use and modify.

It embraces principles of:

  • Open exchange
  • Collaborative participation
  • Community-oriented development

Using this type of software, developers can create their own software easily and quickly and businesses, especially those with limited budgets, can save money since these programs come free of charge.

These programs allow organizations to create systems based on their unique business needs, preferences and requirements.

The opposite of open-source database software is proprietary software, which is a closed system controlled under copyright laws.

It means that an interested third party can access under the vendor’s agreement.

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Types Of Database Management Software

There are several types of database management software programs that come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Some of the most common are:

Relational Database Software

They are SQL databases that allow users to store and organize information in independent traditional table formats like rows and columns.

Relational database management software is one of the oldest and most commonly used systems that companies can use to organize simple data like contact information but also more complex data critical to their business operations.

With this type of software, users can store data in a single repository, so extracting data is quite easy.

Relational programs are highly scalable and can be stored:

  • On-premises
  • In the cloud, or
  • Through hybrid systems

Hierarchical Database Software

A hierarchical database management system is another common way of storing data that organizes info in a tree-like arrangement, in the form of a hierarchy.

In other words, the info is stored hierarchically in a top-down or bottom-up structure. This system is defined by a parent-child relationship where:

  • A parent may have many children, but
  • Children can only have one parent

This type of database program is very simple and quite used for creating high-performance applications among many sectors.

However, unlike some other types of systems, it is inflexible because of the parent-child one-to-many relationship.

Network Database Software

Network database management programs are a more complex extension of hierarchical models which use a network structure to create a relationship between entities.

However, unlike the hierarchical software, this model allows each child to have multiple parents where children are referred to members and parents are called occupiers.

It means that users can build more relationships among different data types, which makes it the best model for more complex relationships.

In network databases, information is stored in a graph.

Object-Oriented Database Software

Object-oriented database management software systems integrate with object-oriented programming languages like Python, Java and C++. Applications require less code and use more natural data modeling.

With this model, users can store data members values and operations in the form of objects where the structure is known as classes.

Document Database Software

As the name itself suggests, with document databases, organizations can store their information in the form of documents.

The model allows them to manage a wide variety of document types and sizes and organize files neatly while maintaining high levels of security.

The Biggest Benefits Of Using Online Database Software

The primary purpose of online database software is to allow organizations to create an organized working environment with easy access and smooth sharing of data among different stakeholders.

This is how your business can benefit from investing in such systems:

  • Improved security: When businesses handle large amounts of information, especially now when cybersecurity threats are on the rise, the safety of data can be one of the biggest concerns they face. Online database software systems are highly secure programs that control user access and don’t allow database entry to unauthorized users. This is what makes them reliable programs where organizations can store and manage their critical data with confidence.
  • Low repetition and redundancy: With file-based systems, the chances for storing duplicate files are huge since they are usually accessed by multiple users, which may lead to data redundancy. Using online database software programs, on the other hand, eliminates the chances to retrieve duplicate data since they leverage a single database.
  • Backup and recovery: Database management software programs allow companies to back up, copy, restore and recover different types of data files. This can be done automatically at specific time intervals after a system failure or manually after some files are deleted.
  • Easy management of large amounts of data: Database management programs are of key importance to businesses since they allow for easy management of different types of large data files. They provide them with the ability to access, modify and extract information efficiently helping them make informed decisions quicker. This ultimately increases their productivity.
  • Multi-user environment support: These handy programs support a multi-user environment meaning more than one user can access and modify information concurrently. They also support several views (searchable objects) of the info. In other words, different users may need different views to perform various tasks. For instance, user X may want to access a file to check the number of sales, whereas user Y may need to print the sales. Although both of them are querying the same database, they will be presented with different views.
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Best Database Software Takeaways

Database management software systems allow businesses to store, sort and extract data critical to their business operations efficiently.

The key benefits of investing in these programs are:

  • Improved security
  • Low repetition and redundancy
  • Backup and recovery
  • Easy management of large amounts of data
  • Multi-user environment support

The best database software systems of 2021 are:

  • Knack
  • Oracle RDBMS
  • Altibase
  • Improvado
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • Amazon RDS
  • Teradata Vantage
  • IBM DB2
  • Claris FileMaker
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • Snowflake
  • SQLite
  • PostgreSQL
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