How Choosing a Database is a Crucial Part of App Development

 

While there are thousands of apps available, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to make. A lot of thought goes into creating an app. One of the first questions an app design company has to answer when developing a new app is the database that they’ll use.

A database collects and stores user data. This is usually done with a one-time registration or login. This way, users don’t have to log in every time they open the app.

The use of a database also allows an app to operate without an internet connection. Apps that don’t depend on an internet connection run faster and more reliably than an app that does.

If you’re creating an app that runs on a database, it’s important to choose the right database to work with. There are a few considerations to keep in mind and you’ll need to closely analyze your choice so you can create an app that consumers will enjoy using.

Types of Database Models

When it comes to choosing a database model for your app, there are a few choices and it can get a little confusing. The two main options that companies opt for are SQL or NoSQL databases.

SQL is the classic choice that most IT workers choose to work with. It’s been around for more than 40 years, so it’s a well-developed choice. However, it requires an extensive programming knowledge if you’re planning on building the app yourself. This type of database uses servers for storage rather than a hard drive and allows many users to access the app simultaneously without crashing.

SQL is also a good choice for structured data including transactions. This makes it a good choice if you’re developing a commerce app.

NoSQL doesn’t refer to a singular database but a genre of them including Couchbase, Redis, and MongoDB. The terms “NoSQL” or “NewSQL” broadly refer to databases that use non-SQL programming language. A lot of social media apps use NoSQL databases including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These types of databases offer a lot of versatility but SQL is still better if you’re hosting transactions.

The reason it’s so important to consider the type of database you want to choose is that it will shape how your app works fundamentally. Picking a type of database should depend on the purpose of the app you have in your mind.

Devices to Support

Once you decide what type of database is right for your app, you need to consider what devices will support it. The traditional choices are iOS and Android and it’s best to cover both of these. Today, though, there are more than just these two platforms to consider. This includes items like wearable and those connected by the Internet of Things.

The more widely accessible your app is to consumers, the more traffic it’ll attract, which brings business to your company. This means that it’s best to start your app off with a database that allows it access to several different devices.

Multiple Databases

We’ve discussed a few different concepts around choosing a database for your app but there are situations when using more than one database is the right answer. This is often the case when the data from or operations of an app are complex.

If you have multiple databases to help analyze incoming data, the first step is to choose a central database. This will hold the main data set of your app. Additional databases will have a copy of this information but they won’t be considered the owner. While this may sound complicated, it’s a much better choice than trying to cram too much data onto a single database. When you make a mistake like trying to fit too much information on a single database, your app is likely to run slowly and run into more errors than if the information was distributed properly.

Choosing a database is one of the most basic parts of app development but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take careful consideration to make the right decision. You’ll need to consider not only what your app is at its core but where it will be available and how it’ll function as well.

Michael Pignataro
co-CEO - Operations at 'corePHP'
Michael spearheads ‘corePHP’s software solutions and service offerings. Focus on sales and marketing for the organization. A huge believer in family and has an amazing wife and 4 beautiful children. Loves camping and hiking.

Michael's philosophy is simple: "If you can dream it, we can do it."

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