Which RDBMS to choose? Seven additional factors to consider

In addition to the points defined in the two previous articles on the choice of an RDBMS – which have returned to the strengths and weaknesses of relational databases and their purchasing criteria – this third part addresses seven additional factors to be taken into account before to adopt a base.

I – The various editions

Many RDBMS products are available in multiple editions with different features. For example, you can choose between editing for workstations, workgroups, or the company.

Once your RDBMS is selected, you must choose the edition that provides the features you need. The easiest way is to collaborate with the supplier to understand the characteristics of each edition.

II – Features depending on the platform or the operating system
Depending on the version of the platform or operating system, the same version of the RDBMS may have different features.

For example, the Windows version will not have certain functions of the Unix version. Or the z / OS version (mainframe) may have features that you will not find in others.

If your organization supports multiple operating environments, make sure you understand the features and limitations of the RDBMS for each platform.

III – New features and features

Support for a hybrid database engine or the ability to use different data structures and access techniques is very recent. Thus, it must be possible to replace (or enhance) the relational database master engine with a column bank or a NoSQL document store .

This hybridization makes it possible to extend the application of the RDBMS to a larger number of cases, which argues for its ubiquity.

IV – Open source options

Admittedly, large, high-tech commercial enterprises reign in the RDBMS market. But if you hesitate to rely on the big suppliers or if you want to keep control of costs, open source solutions exist.

Some open source solutions offer all the features expected of a RDBMS, others offer only a small range.

It even happens that an essential function like referential integrity or CHECK constraints is missing from the call.

When choosing an open source RDBMS, be careful: make sure that all features match your specific needs and that none are missing.

V – In-Memory Data Management

Another recent trend in the DBMS market is the processing of data in system memory ( In-Memory ). This processing involves storing and manipulating data in memory rather than on a mechanical disk.

Access to data is greatly accelerated.

Some RDBMS are designed from the outset to provide In-Memory processing while others have had to adapt existing features. There are also In-Memory DBMS that are not relational (we’ll discuss this in another article).

VI – The Cloud

The growth of stored data is a reality that concerns every day more companies. It leads to the generalization of database systems that store their data in the cloud.

Many cloud database solutions are of the NoSQL type, but many RDBMS providers also offer Cloud services and features.

One of the possibilities is to subscribe to a database as a service (DBaaS, DataBase as a Service). In this context, the service provider hosts your data on its cloud platform.

For small and medium-sized businesses that want to take advantage of enterprise-level database features, DBaaS is a less expensive solution overall.

VII – The database appliance

Another trend in the RDBMS market is the emergence of appliances that combine in a single package of pre-installed software and hardware for optimal operation.

The database appliance has the big advantage of being a turnkey offer: you buy it, you plug it in and it works. Of course, this statement is more or less true depending on the appliance purchased.

In summary

The RDBMS is the central element of most computer systems and applications. It will continue to dominate the database landscape for years to come.

While some of the largest IT companies dominate the RDBMS ecosystem, the market is more complex than it seems. To understand the relational environment, it is not enough to briefly review the IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle offerings.

Even if the DBMS relational is the first of the DBMS, it is not the only news worthy of interest : do not forget to study also the systems NoSQL and In-Memory which we will abode besides in the next article

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