A Guide to Database Software

Do you need to organize and easily access a large amount of data? Find out how to choose the best database software for your needs.

There are many reasons you may need to sort, organize, or easily access data. In some cases, you may want to store data for personal use. However, one of the biggest reasons to keep track of data is for business purposes. If you own a business, you may need to keep track of many different types of records and information. Keeping track of sales is particularly important, as is managing inventory.

In the past, inventory and sales records were kept manually. The same was true for many other types of records. However, recording such facts on paper is no longer necessary. Today, computer technology can help you track that information. All you need is the proper type of database software. When you are looking for database software, it helps to understand the various features of different programs, as well as how you intend to keep and access your records. Here are some points to consider as you compare database software programs.

What is Database Software? 

Database software is also called database management software or a database management system. It is a special type of software designed to allow users to record information. It also allows users to manage that information in various ways. For example, database software users can typically perform functions like:

  • Organize Data in Easy to Comprehend Ways (Lists, Rows, Columns Etc.)

  • Sort Data by Various Criteria (Data, Alphabetical Order Etc.)

  • Search Data Quickly for Specific Information

  • Extract Data for Easy Sharing, Editing, or Printing Purposes

What Does Database Software Do?

Database software has several key functions. The first is it allows users to create informational databases. Those databases often hold data that is essential for businesses to operate at top efficiency. Often, the ability to analyze that data allows companies to alter business practices to improve sales or reduce costs. Types of data commonly recorded include:

  • Earnings

  • Expenditures

  • Current Inventory Amounts

  • Contact Details for Clients or Business Contacts

  • Additional Financial Data (Stock Market Data, Tax Data Etc.)

Certain database software also provides the essential function of information sharing. Yet, it can have protective features to prevent information stealing. For example, some software allows only administrators the most editing privileges. Special permission for editing is supplied to specific users on an as needed basis. Most end users are restricted solely to viewing the recorded data. 

Database software also typically provides the essential function of report creation. Users can print reports featuring select groups of data desired. Those reports are often used within companies to streamline operations. They are also frequently used to perform essential business functions, such as preparing to file taxes.

What Are Some Common Types of Database Software?

There are many types of database software available. If you own a business, you need to understand the different types. That way you can select the one that makes the most sense for your company. Here are brief descriptions of some of the most common types:

  • Cloud database software is accessible online. Therefore, anyone with permission within the company can view or edit it from any location with Internet access. Cloud-based databases are available through third-party companies or users can create them for their own businesses.

  • Centralized databases are maintained in single specific locations. They are often accessible from several different computers. However, the computers must typically be part of the same local network. For example, the computers in an office building may all allow access to a single database maintained on a particular computer within that building.

  • Distributed databases store data on several devices. They are typically used for larger businesses. Such databases allow easy expansion as more data storage is required.

  • Operational database software allows easy real time editing by multiple users. They are excellent for businesses because they allow fast data changes and analysis.

  • End-user databases are databases designed for use by single individuals. They are installed on specific computers or devices.

What is the Average Cost of Database Software?

Database management software costs vary. Some software programs are free. However, if you own a business you may want as many features as possible. Databases with more features typically charge for the use of the software. There are several pricing models database software companies use. Here are some examples and average prices:

  • Tiered pricing typically involves a free or cheap option for basic monthly service. If there is a charge, it is often under $15 per month. However, higher tiers offer more features. They can cost as much as approximately $1,000 per month for businesses.

  • Pay-per-user pricing is usually under $75 per user per month. It can cost as little as $25 per user per month.

  • One-time licensing costs for single users typically start at approximately $100 and can exceed $450. Businesses must typically pay thousands of dollars. The size of the business dictates the cost.

  • Custom quotes are sometimes available for certain database software. Those quotes are based on desired features and the number of users.

What Are Some Top Database Software Brands?

You have many options when selecting database software. Each brand has its own specific features. Comparing the benefits of each can help you make a selection. Here are some top options:

  • Oracle uses grid computing technology to provide secure databases for businesses of all sizes. The unique system also has fewer hardware requirements and lower costs. Additionally, it allows easy flexibility and expansion of databases. 

  • MySQL Workbench allows users to create custom designed databases with ease. It also provides a visual performance dashboard for easy information analysis.

  • Microsoft SQL Server is database management software designed specifically for use by businesses. It includes several tools to make database management easier for companies, including the SQL Server Management Studio. 

  • PostgreSQL is open source relational database software. It is designed for the storage and analysis of large amounts of data at a time. For that reason, types of companies that use it frequently include domain registration and gaming companies.

  • Redis provides on-premises and cloud-based database creation, access, and storage solutions. It also allows the ability to maintain an in-house database initially and easily turn it into a cloud-based database at a later time.

What is the Procedure to Set Up Database Software?

The procedure to set up a database is usually quite simple. If you purchase software for installation, you can download it to any device that meets the required prerequisites for the software. You may need to install it on several computers within your office or mobile devices, depending on your business structure. If you opt to use a cloud-based database software program, you must pay the required fees. You must also typically create usernames and passwords for yourself and any employees who need to access your databases. Then you can immediately begin inputting the data you want to store.