5 Open Source Database: Overview, Comparison and Features

Earlier we have talked about SQL Database. In this post I am going to list some of the popular open source, free database software. Before starting any service online it is much necessary to choose a database that can guarantee uptime, security and meet all your needs.

Costs is always a concern when choosing a database, RDBMS from multinational corporations can be very costly and can cause you much grief if you are running a cost-free service online. Eventually open source database management tools can be very handy. These databases are either free or costs very less and offers most of the features of high-end database systems.

Open Source Database Tools

Here are the top 5 most popular open source database software and their comparison:

1)   MySQL

MySQL is the most popular and widely used relational database management system that provides multi-user access to a number of databases. MySQL is now owned by Oracle and uses Sequential Query Language to manage a database. Its source is available under GNU license and propriety agreements. MySQL is most popular among PHP developers and used for websites, web applications, and online services.

MySQL is available for free for non-commercial purpose and can cost you  less than $200 for commercial use. Offers features just like MS-SQL, Oracle and IBM DB2, large end database applications.

2)   PostgreSQL

It is developed by PostgreSQL Global Development Group and is an ORDBMS(Object Relational Database Management System). Available for all platforms Mac, Windows, Solaris and Linux under MIT license, PostgreSQL supports all the properties of major databases. PostgreSQL is currently available as version 9.1.

3)   SQLite

SQLite is a small lightweight embedded database used in Application File formats, Database for mobile apps and websites. SQLite has compliance with ACID properties of the database. It is faster and has simple to use API. SQLite comes with a standalone command-line interface (CLI) client that can be used to administer SQLite databases.

4)   Berkeley DB

Owned by Oracle, Berkeley DB provides the foundational storage services for your application, no matter how demanding and unique your requirements may seem to be.  Berkeley DB APIs are available in almost all programming languages including ANSI-C, C++, Java, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby and Erlang.

A program accessing the database is free to decide how the data is to be stored in a record. Berkeley DB puts no constraints on the record’s data. The record and its key can both be up to four gigabytes long. Note that Berkeley DB is not a full DBMS.

5)  Firebird

Firebird has always been more fully featured than MySQL, and has, unlike PostgreSQL, always worked well on Windows as well as Linux and other ‘Nix variants. Firebird provides a lot of the features available in commercial databases, including stored procedures, triggers, hot backups (backups while the database is running) and replication. Firebird database comes in two variations, classic server and super server.

Data nowadays is much more complex than it used to be 10 years back. Storing, maintaining and managing data relies on the database technology. High-level companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM has been pioneering databases over time and has produced some of the best database systems. Perhaps MS-SQL, IBM-DB and Oracle are top mostly appreciated database systems but above listed open sources database systems are feature rich and offer good performance. In the shadows of some corporate applications they are usually overlooked.

Did I miss your preferred database? Do mention them in the comment section below.

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Azharuddin Khan, being a technology enthusiastic, loves writing blogs and updating them. Currently pursuing his Bachelors in Information Technology, he also loves in extending support via providing hardware solutions.


  1. Marcosdorrego

    I love Firebird, the best in the list.

  2. CUBRID (http://www.cubrid.org/) open source database deserves to be in the list. They’ve recently published a presentation about CUBRID’s optimizations for Web http://www.slideshare.net/cubrid/growing-in-the-wild-the-story-by-cubrid-database-developers.

  3. Khan Azharuddin12345

    CUBIRD is good but these are the most popular database..

  4. tom anderson

    You can check one more free tool – Valentina Studio
    http://www.valentina-db.com/en/valentina-studio-overview. I am very pleased with this program.

  5. Kate Parlee

    What is “Sequential Query Language?” SQL stands for Structured Query Language. In any case, MySQL uses Structured Query Language.

  6. Sergei Kharchenko

    If you need a professional tool for managing MySQL database then try dbForge Studio for MySQL. View the full list of its features here: http://www.devart.com/dbforge/mysql/studio/ Download and try free version!

  7. shjacks55

    Where is Apache Derby?

  8. Edgardo Alvarez

    Firebir for ever!!!

  9. bcheekati

    May i know what is the lowest price of Oracle Database

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