When IT departments are operating on miniscule budgets, cutting costs is great for both staying in business and keeping IT afloat. Everyone likes free stuff.
Sounds pretty delicious to me.
So let’s take a step back to your formative college years, when the world was as free and dreamy as melted mozzarella, and check out these five fantastic free database software and open source DBM solutions to keep your department on budget.
CUBRID is a great free and open source option optimized specifically for web applications, useful when complex web services process large amounts of data and generate huge concurrent requests. This solution is implemented in C.
- Multiple granularity locking
- Online backup
- GUI tools and drivers for development languages:
- JDBC, PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby.
- Auto-failover feature with 24/7 online web service
- Supports native DB sharding for horizontal/vertical scalability
- Large systems divide data over multiple database instances
- Database replication and transaction consistency
- Doesn’t work with Apple systems
- No script debugger
- Manual only comes in English or Korean
- Discussions on their forum tend to be dated (most are from several years ago)
This relational database has been used in production systems (under a variety of names) since 1981 and features many ANSI SQL standards. Firebird is capable of running on Linux, Windows, and various Unix platforms.
- Trace API for real-time monitoring
- Windows-trusted authentication
- Four supported architectures:
- SuperClassic, Classic, SuperServer, and Embedded
- Variety of development tools:
- Commercial tools: FIBPlus and IBObjects
- Automatic sweep option to clean database
- Event notifications from database triggers and stored procedures
- Free support through Firebird’s large global community
- Integrated replication support isn’t included (only as add-on)
- Lacks temporary tables and integration with other database systems
- Windows-trusted authentication lacking in comparison to other OS solutions
Made by the original developers of MySQL, MariaDB is used by tech giants like Wikipedia, Facebook, and even Google. MariaDB is a database server that offers drop-in replacement functionality for MySQL. Security is a top concern and priority for MariaDB developers, and in each solution release, the developers also merge in all of MySQL’s security patches and enhance them if need be.
- High scalability with easy integration
- Real-time access
- Core functionality of MySQL
- (MariaDB is a MySQL alternative)
- Alternate storage engines, server optimizations, and patches
- Extensive knowledge base compiled over the 20 years MariaDB has been operating
- Missing password complexity plugin
- No memcached interface
- No optimizer trace
MongoDB was founded in 2007 and is known as the “database for giant ideas.” Developed by the people behind DoubleClick, ShopWiki, and Gilt Groupe, MongoDB is also backed by popular investors such as Fidelity Investments, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and Intel Capital. Since its inception, MongoDB has been downloaded 20 million times and is supported by more than 1,000 partners. These partners are dedicated to this free and open source solution’s belief that coding and databases should be simple and natural.
- Document validation
- Encrypted storage engine
- Common use cases:
- Mobile apps
- Product catalogs
- Content management
- Real-time apps with in-memory storage engine (beta)
- Reduces time between primary failure and recovery
- Doesn’t fit applications needing complex transactions
- Not a drop-in replacement for legacy applications
- Young solution: software changes and evolves quickly
MySQL has been around since 1995 and is now owned by Oracle. While open source, there are also several paid editions available that offer additional features, like cluster geo-replication and automatic scaling. Because MySQL is an industry standard, it’s also compatible with just about every operating system and written in both C and C++. This solution is a great option for international users since the server can provide error messages to clients in multiple languages, encompassing support for several different character sets.
- Host-based verification
- Can be used even when no network is available
- Flexible privilege and password system
- Security encryption of all password traffic
- Library that can be embedded into standalone applications
- Provides server as separate program for client/server networked environment
- Acquired by Oracle:
- Users feel MySQL no longer falls under free and OS
- No longer community driven
- Members can’t fix bugs and craft patches
- Falls behind others due to slow updates