The Best Databases According to Developers

Yana Troianska

February 1, 2019

Last week I visited an event for non-technical people covering the technical side of development. This is an event when a technical person is trying to put technical stuff in a nutshell for those who never wrote a line of code.

We discussed databases and their importance for project success. I understand that the database is a complex topic, but you must be familiar with it to develop a good product. So, I will try to clarify what a database is, what kinds of storage there are, and which database suits which project. So, I will try to clarify what kinds of storage there are and which database suits which project. 

What is a database?

What is a database?First, the database collects information (data) that can be stored, organized, and accessed electronically. To put it simply, the database is an electronic card index built into any web application. 

To understand what we will discuss in the next paragraphs, you must know that the database can be relational and non-relational. 

Relational database or SQL is when data resides in tables, where every row stores one piece of data, and the columns are the same for each data set. All tables and attributes built the fixed schema of the database, so all entries have the same data types.   

No relational or NoSQL is a data storage with collections similar to SQL tables. They store all pieces of data like documents. The documents can have different attributes, so there is no fixed schema.

Our Top Databases: Pros and Cons


MongoDB is the fastest-growing database, which in 2007 disrupted the database ecosystem. Mongo DB is a database dealing with unstructured data which doesn’t fit into a relational database format. While relational databases are designed for accounting and bookkeeping or anywhere you can use Exel.

Developing a project with Mongo DB takes less time than a relational database. Mongo DB aimed to increase developers productivity by offering easy-to-manage and use functionality.

Mongo DB is an open-source database that brings certain benefits. First of all, there is a community of thousands of users. 


  1. Quick and easy to make iterations on your schema
  2. Compared to SQL, it’s more scalable and has better performance
  3. Being object-oriented, the administration of adding, reading, and writing is like JavaScript
  4. Open-sourced with good tech support  


  1. MongoDB does not support joins, which results in increasing unnecessary usage of memory

  2. The data size is up to 16 MB 

  3. You cannot perform nesting of documents for more than 100 levels

best database


ElasticSearch is a real-time enterprise-grade full-text search and analytics tool. Enterprises like The Guardian and Netflix use it to power fast searches to support data discovery applications. It’s designed to take data from any source and make it searchable. This technology allows implement the solution when you’ve got more data that you know what to do with. 

Being a great search engine, ElasticSearch cares about text and numbers. Thus, companies use it as an add-on to other databases. ElasticSearch is quite flexible; it enables you to change a configuration, index format, or whatever you want to get it to scale. 


  1. It is the most powerful full-text search engine 
  2. A document-oriented database can store complex data as structured JSON documents. Thus providing higher performance 
  3. The database supports REST API, which is a light-weight protocol with a simple user interface 


  1. ElasticSearch does not support multi-language
  2. It’s rather hard to learn and can be a challenging tool for developers with no relevant experience 


MySQL is an open-source relational database widely used in web applications. Being cross-platform, it can work on multiple operating systems, including the most popular, like Windows, Linux, and macOS. The database is easy and fast to install and configure. Thereby allowing developers to concentrate on the development and reduce costs and time to market

The database is not the fanciest, but it has been around for a long time and gained a positive reputation. Large enterprises select MySQL because of its reliability and prominent community. Additionally, it is a popular choice as an embedded database distributed by thousands of ISVs and OEMs.


  1. Can support up to 50 million rows or more in a table

  2. Open source enables one to track how everything works under the hood

  3. It enables to implement of a variety of user interfaces

  4. It’s a mature database. Thus, a solution to most problems developers can find online 


  1. In the database, it takes a lot of time and effort to create incremental backups

  2. The is no built-in support for XML or OLAP


Redis, like MongoDB, is an open-sourced, non-relational database. In Redis, data resides in memory, eliminating the need to access disks and reducing request time to microseconds. In contrast to databases that store data on disk, Redis can support more operations and ensure faster response timesWhich makes it an ideal solution for Gaming, Financial Services, Healthcare, and IoT application

The database features different data structures, simplifying building real-time apps. Redis is a fast data store that enables millions of requests per second. 

Redis is one of those databases geared toward specific use cases for either session management for users or caching. Frequently developers choose Redis for a lightweight application like a small phone app. 


  1. Versatile data structures enable one to meet any application needs

  2. Faster performance and response times because of in-memory data residency

  3. Redis comes with native data structures and enables to write off fewer lines of code to manipulate and interact with data


  1. In Redis, value queries will not perform without having a correct key
  2. The size of the Redis datastore is limited to the size of the available memory
  3. To move from SQL to Redis developer has to change the actual application

best database


Above, we’ve covered the four best databases we use in everyday development. There’s no such thing as the best database that will fit every case. A database is a tool you select according to the project’s needs. Everything depends on project size, number of users, developers background, and your budget. 

Check out our list of the best Java framssworks

5/5 - (2 votes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *