Category: Databases

Comparison of Common Online Database Systems

This post will just be a simple overview comparing the popular database options that are used for web technologies in today’s age.  These databases can be used to power your SaaS (software as a service), blog, user information, inventory, customer relations management, etc….  The possibilities are literally endless.

Microsoft SQL Server MySQL Oracle PostgreSQL SQLite
Maximum Size 524272 TB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 104 TB
Max Columns Per Row 1024 4096 1000 250-1600 32767
Max Number Size 126 bits 64 bits 126 bits Unlimited 64 bits
Max Char Size 2 GB 64 KB 32767 Bytes 1 GB 2 GB
Temporary Tables Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cursors Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Native Network Encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Security Certification Yes Yes Yes Yes No


We will discuss these properties in future posts.  JadeServe uses MySQL for a lot of services because it is very easy to deploy, connect to, cost effective, and versatile.  Every database management system has its pros and cons.  SQLite is not the most secure, but it can be deployed in a test environment quickly. Microsoft SQL Server costs quite a bit of money, but it is well supported by Microsoft systems, and MySQL is globally used and cross platform, while being easy to use.  The choice of DBMS largely depends on the environment that it’s going to be used on, the service connecting to it, and the cost to be allocated to it.

JadeServe can help you with all of that, and walk you through it.

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The Power of a Database

A database can be identified as:

"A structured set of data held in a computer, especially one that is accessible in various ways."

What does that mean though?  Well, imagine a big plate of spaghetti.  Not a small plate, but a plate made up of the entire shelf of pasta at the local grocery store.  Now, imagine wanting to get out a specific piece of spaghetti of a specific length, style, and brand from that plate.  There’s no way to do it.  There’s too much “data” all jumbled up with no organization.  There must be a better way!

There is.  You can store your spaghetti in an easily searchable, well structured database.

Every piece of spaghetti has various properties.  Off the top of my head, there’s brand, length, thickness, degree of doneness, semolina or whole grain, and the time it was cooked.  This is all data that we want to be able to organize our data in.  We could write it all out in text files (also known as “Flat Files”), and that would store the data, but that doesn’t index it in any way, shape, or form, and finding your data would be a nightmare.  The answer is to make a “table” in your database.  Visually, a table looks like a spreadsheet, but behind the scenes, magic happens and you can find any piece of data held within it.

This is the structure of our “spaghetti” table with a bit of data added:spaghetti_data

We didn’t discuss it, but I added an “id” field so that each line of data has a unique identifier to add the benefit of easily referencing each row.  This is important.  It’s like the barcode at the grocery store that tells the cash register what item is being rung up.

Now that our data is in a nicely organized table, we can easily hunt for the data that interests us.  For instance, lets say that we want to get all of the undercooked spaghetti.  We can say that any rows with a doneness less than 80%.

Or, we can get all of the strings of spaghetti that is not whole grain.

Finding data in a database is super fast and super easy when it is well organized.  This can be applied to something such as a User table for your website, where you look for the data with the matching username and password.  If the database doesn’t give any rows, you know that there is no match for the username and password.

If we had our data in flat files, we would have to go line by line by line to see if the data matches what we are looking for.  That is tedious, slow, and inefficient.  That’s why we use modern database technology.  We can zero in on the data fast and efficiently and give the users the best experience possible.

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