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App Owners! Do You Know Which is the Best Database for Your Mobile App?

Alekh Verma | February 8, 2023
database for mobile app

Mobile app database stores all the user information and makes it accessible whenever needed. The database is the most standard way of storing and managing data. As new technologies are emerging in the form of big data, data science, the need for developing robust databases for a mobile app is increasing too.

If you are an app owner and in the middle of mobile app development process and looking for the right database solution for your mobile application you might be confused with the various database options.

Your app developer or software engineer might choose Oracle as the most popular database, followed by MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB. But for mobile app development, you will need to choose the right database that fits best to your development requirement and future goals.

So if you are in search of which is the best database for your mobile app, this blog post will tell you the right information to help you choose the perfect database framework for your app project.

What is Database?

A database is the storehouse of structured information that enables information to be accessible, easily updated, and managed. The database can be also referred to as a location where all the essential data and reports are stored.

Here, the information stored is extremely sensitive which is why you need to be ultra-careful while accessing the information in the database of your mobile application.

Most Popular Databases for Mobile App Development:

  1. MySQL
  2. PostgreSQL
  3. Redis
  4. MongoDB
  5. Firebase
  6. MariaDB
  7. Cassandra
  8. SQL Lite
  9. InfluxDB
  10. CouchDB
  11. AWS DynamoDB
  12. ArangoDB 

Types of Mobile App Databases

1. Data Warehouses

The data warehouse is a kind of data management system which is built to enable and support business intelligence-based activities such as analytics.

Data warehouses allow developers to consolidate and centralize large amounts of data. Its analytical capability helps app owners and businesses to derive valuable insights which can help them improve their decision-making processes.

Key Features of Data Warehouses:

  • Time-variant
  • Non-volatile
  • Integrated
  • Subject oriented 

2. Distributed Warehouses

This database stores information across geographically distant locations with no physically shared resources. A distributed data warehouse is an ideal choice for your mobile app if your users are spread across different geographies.

Key Features of Distributed Warehouses:

  • Increased reliability and availability
  • Easier expansion
  • Fragmentation transparency
  • Better performance

3. Operational Database

Operational database enables users to edit or remove data in real-time. Most database types depend on batch processing which means the edits are only made till a specific threshold in resources and time.

But operational database can make your data operations functional in real-time. Therefore, it is the best type of database if you want to store employee, customer, and payroll information.

Key Features of Operational Database:

  • Dynamic in operation
  • Highly secured
  • Fault-tolerant
  • Highly scalable 

4. Relational Database

Relational database organizes data into tables linked or related to each other based on shared information. It enables the users to retrieve an entirely new table from data in one or more tables with a single query.

Relational database is the perfect choice for your best technology stack for mobile app development if you want to understand the connection among all available data better and gain new business insights for well-informed decisions.

Key Features of Relational Database:

  • Ease backup and data recovery
  • Reduced redundancy
  • Flexibility

How to Choose the Best Database for Your Mobile App?

Now that you have got a basic understanding of what is database and what purposes they serve, it's time to cover the most important points that you should keep in mind while selecting the database for your mobile application.

1. Data Structure and Mobile App Requirements

The data structure has a big role in managing how data should be stored and retrieved when needed. Different mobile applications are made on different mobile app development frameworks. Therefore, you need to choose the appropriate database to support the right data structures that can be used for storing and retrieving data.

2. Data Size and Storage Requirements

Data size is about the quantity of data you need to store and retrieve sensitive app information for your app to perform properly. Hence, you need to consider the data size how much your mobile app is capable to handle.

3. Data Security and Flexibility

Data security is today's hot concern and never compromising thing for both users and app owners. Storing your mobile app data on a database service provider can lead to various data threats and vulnerabilities if the database for mobile applications is not safe or has strong security features.

4. Mobile OS Platform Support

You need to make sure while choosing the database for your mobile app whether it supports native mobile OS, hybrid mobile OS, or cross-platform OS support.

As there are mainly two main popular mobile OS platforms- Android and iOS. Technology has transformed mobile devices and connected other emerging technologies like wearables and IoT devices. Therefore, it becomes essential to decide how many mobile OS your database support.

5. Resolving Data Conflicts between Devices

Any mobile app which modifies the same data on multiple devices simultaneously can create data conflicts. The mobile app database you select should support a dynamic mechanism for resolving these conflicts. Most mobile app databases come with the capability to automatically resolve such conflicts on the device, or by human intervention.

Which is the Best Database for Your Mobile App?

There are certain characteristics that differ for different databases. By identifying these properties you can sort out the available mobile app databases depending on your mobile app development requirement. Here is the list of the popular databases available in the market that you can choose for your mobile app. 

1. SQLite

SQLite is a relational database which is a lighter version of SQL designed especially for mobile applications. It has an in-process library that implements a serverless, self-contained, and transactional, zero-configuration SQL database engine.

SQLite is mostly used to provide local storage abilities on mobile devices. This database management system is highly popular in Android application development India due to its open-source accessibility and seamless functionality.

Key Features of SQLite:

  • Readable source code
  • Manifest typing
  • Serverless
  • Single database file
  • Zero-configuration
  • Stable cross-platform file
  • Variable-length records 

2. Realm DB

Realm DB is an open-source relational database management system. This database allows data to be filtered, queried, interconnected, and persisted and has live objects which are entirely reactive.

Key Features of Realm DB:

  • Storage architecture
  • Query interface
  • Object-oriented data model
  • Concurrency control
  • Log component for synchronization
  • Develop mobile application 

3. MongoDB

It is an open-source, server-side database. MongoDB is a NoSQL database framework that is built with scalability and complex app development in mind. This uses key-values stores and a relational database for storing objects in JSON documents with dynamic schemas.

Key Features of MongoDB:

  • Ad-hoc queries for optimized, real-time analytics
  • Appropriate indexing for better query executions
  • Replication feature for better data availability and stability
  • Load balancing 

4. Couchbase

Couchbase is a famous NoSQL cloud database. Its versatility, scalability, financial value, and performance exceed other cloud databases; hence, it is counted among the best databases for mobile apps. Top Mobile App Development companies prefer Couchbase because of its offline capability. This database uses an offline local database that a mobile app's code directly interacts with. 

Key Features of Couchbase:

  • Memory First
  • Elastic scalability
  • Persistence
  • Analytics
  • Transactions 

5. PostgreSQL

This is a database management system written in C which is used by businesses that deal with large amounts of data. Postgre SQL is database management software used in mobile game development, domain registrations, and database automation tools.

Key Features of Postgre SQL:

  • Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC)
  • Nested transactions (savepoints)
  • Table inheritance
  • Asynchronous replication
  • Foreign key referential integrity 

6. Redis

Redis is a famous open-source database system that is basically a data structure server. Its capability to work with different types of data is what makes Redis a powerful database tool for mobile application development.

As per Stack Overflow's Annual Developer Survey, Redis has been ranked as the most loved database platform by best mobile app developers in US. Redis is also used as a distributed cache and message broker, with durability as an option.

Key Features of Redis:

  • Rich Data persistence
  • Chat and messaging applications
  • Gaming leaderboard applications
  • High availability and scalability
  • Session store 

7. Memcached

Memcached is a distributed cache database system that is multi-threaded and used primarily for caching objects to speed up mobile apps by improving database load. It is mainly popular for database query results caching, web page caching, API caching, session caching, and caching of objects such as images, files, and metadata.

Key Features of Memcached:

  • Reduces the database load
  • TCP server-client program
  • Open-source 

8. MariaDB

MariaDB is an open source relational database that was created by the original developers of MySQL. This is a relational database management system that is compatible with MySQL Protocol and Clients. This database management system offers columnar storage with massively parallel distributed data architecture.

Key Features of MariaDB:

  • Support large data operations
  • Cost-efficient cloud-based storage
  • Gives Columnar storage for faster analytics performance
  • Scaling Ad hoc data requests
  • Straightforward data imports

9. Cassandra

It is an open source NoSQL database system that is specifically designed to handle big size of unstructured data at any scale. Cassandra is a highly scalable database management framework which is widely used by mobile app development companies to handle massive data.

The main advantage of using Cassandra is its decentralized database with automatic replication and multi-data center replication, making it a fault-tolerant base without any system failure.

Key Features of Cassandra:

  • Robust architecture
  • Flexible data storage
  • Easy data distribution
  • Transaction support
  • Better scalability 

10. ArangoDB

ArangoDB is an open source NoSQL database that is known for its multi-model. graph and geo algorithm features. It is referred to as a native multi-model database which is built to allow key/value, document, and graph data to be stored together and queried with a common language.

The best thing about ArangoDB is that it combines the power of graphs with JSON documents, a full-text search engine, and a key-value store, enabling developers to access and integrate all of these data models with a single, declarative query language.

Key features of ArangoDB:

  • Simplified performance scaling
  • Reduced operational complexity
  • Fault tolerance
  • Great data consistency
  • Lower ownership cost 

For concise understanding, this table will help you determine which database would be better suitable for your certain mobile app development requirements.  


The Final Thoughts

Mobile apps have dynamic requirements which change as per the user demands. Therefore, the most important factor while choosing the best database for your mobile app should be flexibility in most cases. And this blog post will help you to decide the right database for your mobile app development.

We hope this post helps you in this. Now we would like to hear from you.

In the current age of data Science and big Data, which database do you think makes a good fit for your app? 

Share your valuable thoughts in the below comment box and let our audience know something useful from you.

Or if you need expert recommendations on choosing the right database software for your app, eSearch Logix can guide you on this subject.

Just Schedule a Free Online Meeting and Talk to Our Engineers Now

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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