When you think of developing your future business app, choosing a suitable database is probably one of the last things that will come to your mind. What do we usually want from the app in the first place? It should be eye-catching to draw the attention of the new users. The user experience should force new users to utilize the app repeatedly. The application should solve the issues of your company and your clients. Somewhere, definitely not at the top of the list, there’s the need to choose a specific database management system providing users with timely access to data they need promptly.
Unfortunately, such disregard for the choice of the database may lead to some unwanted consequences. All databases have their unique specifications, which may affect the process of future application scaling, for example. Therefore, if you want to build a new application from scratch or modernize your current app to ensure the efficiency of working with data, it’s essential to consider some factors while choosing a specific database. This article will share some tips that will help you select a database that will provide a good user experience and decrease the risks of losing sensitive data.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Database for Your Business Application
If you don’t have technological expertise, the task of choosing a database that will better suit the needs of your future or current application can be pretty tricky. Nowadays, there are hundreds of database management systems. They have specific characteristics such as data models and were initially designed to cover the needs of particular apps. Therefore, choosing a particular database that will fit you better is a task that should be delegated to the company providing web app development services you decide to cooperate with.
However, understanding what precisely you want to get from the application and what are the main principles determining the choice of a particular database is vital. Keeping the clear picture in your mind will help you achieve more productive cooperation and end up with the app of your dreams. Before considering some fundamental aspects affecting your choice, it is essential to ask yourself some basic questions. How many end-users do you expect will use your app after the launch? Do you plan to create an application to help local grocery stores sell their products, or your goal is to impose a fight on such giants as eBay, and you are betting on a multi-million audience? What’s the geographic distribution of your future app’s desired user base? What’re your plans regarding future scalability? Is there a need for server-side data validation, or do you plan to design your application in such a way that users cannot enter incorrect data?
You can proceed with a more detailed analysis after outlining your application’s main characteristics from the data management standpoint. For example, to ensure hassle-free data flow, it’s essential to look at your app from an integration perspective. Say you want to improve customer satisfaction, and your goal is to adopt a new CRM app or update your current one. In such a case, there’s no reason to build from scratch every bit of enterprise-wide software that you’re using, and it’s more reasonable to focus on integrating a new app into the existing system. When choosing a proper database management system, you should make sure that it’s compatible with the data-related tools your current software system is using. Think of data technologies used in your app as a bunch of LEGO blocks that provide a limited number of ways you can connect them with each other. So think about how old pieces of software can exchange data with the newly adopted app and how easy it’ll be to maintain your databases in the future.
Consistent growth is a pretty natural phenomenon, be it a biological organism or business organization. If you plan to conquer new frontiers, it is essential to know how many new employees and in which department you will need. It is also vital to understand how much data you’ll need to process to adapt to the new business features efficiently. When you consider which database to use, you should keep in mind the scaling requirements you’ll face in the future.
If you have serious reasons to believe that the number of users is about to skyrocket over time, you may think of MongoDB as one of your database priorities, for example. This is because it allows effortless horizontal scaling, an excellent alternative to vertical scaling, a more costly option implying the use of more high-performing hardware to process data. Horizontal scaling, in turn, allows the application to spread the load across additional nodes, which can be a lifesaver in case of the influx of new users requiring simultaneous access to data.
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Beautiful things in your life can last as long as you want, as long as you take care of them. This rule relates to your database as well. Database support is a pretty serious issue to consider since a leak of sensitive data can harm your clients and ruin your business reputation. So, make sure that you have either an in-house specialist with expertise in working with a specific database management system or enough funds in the budget for hiring a remote data specialist.
Before developing the actual interface of the application, it’s sometimes helpful to start with UI sketching. Such an approach can help designers test their ideas, sweep away all unnecessary, and focus on things that have potential. Similarly, it’s essential to use data modelling, an approach that allows mapping the future application for better understanding the specifics of data structure before implementing the actual database. For example, it helps determine which entities the app will need to function correctly and the relationships between them. Besides, it helps to understand which exact type of database management system (e.g., relational, document-oriented, key/value, etc.) will better suit this specific application.
Last but not least, it’s essential to remember that the database management system is nothing more than a tool helping you deal with a flow of data. And, like in many other situations, you may need to choose multiple types of a specific tool. For example, you may decide that one type of database is not enough during the data modelling stage. Say you want to build an application that sells sports equipment online. According to the application’s features, you may need one database management system for helping users search goods online and the other for providing your analysts with real-time data on sales via a BI app, for example. In such a case, developers can choose a canonical database and an additional one that may work with a copy of data.
Any application you use regularly is useless without access to data. In a manner, we may consider applications as nothing more than wrappers turning data stored on computers into a format understandable by human beings. The pace of modern life does not give us the luxury of waiting long minutes while the application transforms the data stored on the servers into something that can satisfy our current needs. Stock market reports, the current value of a pair of new sneakers, or the cheapest apartment to rent in a specific area are just a few of the examples of data we want to access instantly. Choosing a proper database management system for your app is a tricky but irreplaceable task for providing fast and hassle-free data access and satisfying the needs of your end-users.
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