Database management systems are used by individuals, small business and large institutions alike as a means of providing secure, reliable and efficient data storage and accessibility. There are numerous different types of database software, including hierarchical, network, relational and object-oriented, and there is a myriad of software options available to the public today. In fact, some of the best database management applications are available completely for free.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular database systems available today, MySQL offers a relational database management system that is able to process data from multiple different sources. Data types such as CHAR, TEXT, BLOB, ENUM, SMALLINT, DECIMAL, DATE, TIMESTAMP and more can all be used to store specific information.
The MySQL database architecture is widely used on the Internet today, and most computer users have utilized a database in some form or another. Websites such as WordPress and Joomla utilize a MySQL architecture to give others the ability to post their own blogs online, while sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn use a MySQL framework as a means of connecting people from all over the globe. Other popular sites that use a MySQL database include Wikipedia, PayPal, YouTube, Drupal, Flickr, McGraw-Hill Education and Tumblr.
Another relational database management system, SQLite was introduced by D. Richard Hipp in 2000 as part of a C-based programming library. A part of the public domain, the SQLite software is free for anyone to use. The biggest drawback with SQLite, however, is the lack of usable data types. While this is sufficient enough for small or compacted databases, users who require large or complex databases will need to look elsewhere.
Despite its limitations, there are several prolific organizations that use SQLite in their daily operations. Such names include Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, Google Chrome, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, Dropbox and more.
SQL Server Express
Microsoft's answer to the relational database, SQL Server Express offers a freely usable and distributable SQL server for public use. As with SQLite, however, there are some limitations that hamper system's ability to process large or complex databases.
Unlike SQLite, Microsoft's SQL Server Express is able to handle several different data types. Common data types used in SQL Server Express include CHAR, BIT, MONEY, NUMERIC, BINARY, TIME, DATE, IMAGE, CURSOR and more.
Firebird provides a relational database that takes its customizability to the next step. Because it is an open source and freely usable database, database programmers and developers are able to adapt the basic database structure in able to meet their exact needs. Several different types of data are supported through Firebird, including CHAR, TIMESTAMP, DECIMAL, INTEGER, SMALLINT and more.
Berkeley DB is a key-value database architecture that is maintained by the Oracle Corporation. Commonly used in embedded applications, there are currently three different versions of Berkeley DB for consumers to choose from: Berkeley DB, Berkeley DB Java Edition and Berkeley DB XML.
Like SQLite, however, Berkeley DB is extremely limited in the different types of information it can handle. Available data types include TEXT, BLOB, INTEGER, REAL and NULL.
Free Database Software Solutions
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