Best database software in 2018

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Best database software

As the connected technology ecosystem continues to grow, the amount of data created will also go through the roof. Research from IBM shows that we create around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data on a daily basis. This information comes from everywhere, including sensors, telecom signals, social media posts, multimedia and online transactions. 

In a business context, data is an incredibly powerful tool. With it, companies can gain a better understanding of their customers and operations. Firms can use this insight as a way to boost sales and productivity. However, it’s crucial to have the right infrastructure in place to manage growing datasets. 

The easiest way to visualize and organize this information is by investing in a good database solution. Having emerged in the 1960s, this type of software usually consists of schemas, tables, queries, reports and views that capture and analyze complex datasets. They typically use computing standards and languages such as SQL, ODBC and JDBC. 

These applications offer a variety of functionalities. Not only do they allow users to create and define large datasets, but also to modify and delete them easily.  Other benefits include the ability to enforce data security, monitor performance, minimize inefficiencies, enable quick decision-making and recover information in the event of a system failure. Here are the best database management systems on the market. 


1. TeamDesk

A customizable database solution


If you’re looking for a powerful database solution that’s also easy to use, then it’s worth checking out Team Desk. It provides you with the tools to create custom databases quickly without any prior technical knowledge. 

What’s great about TeamDesk is that it runs on the cloud through its own secure servers, so you don’t need to invest in your own hardware. According to the company, it’s achieved a 99.96% uptime record over the past six years, making it a reliable choice.   

The software runs on PC, Mac, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. To set up a database, you can either choose from a library of predefined templates or build your own from scratch. Once you’ve done that, you’re able to remove and add functionalities as your business grows.   

In terms of pricing, there are several plans available. The starter package costs $49 (£36) per month, letting you add up to five users with an unlimited amount of tables, records, storage space and customer support. However, there’s a team edition available for $99 per month (£74) and an enterprise edition for $249 per month (£187) as well. At any rate, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test the waters.   


2. Knack

A trusted database app

Real-time insights 
Easy-to-use dashboards 

Targeted at organizations of all sizes, Knack is probably one of the most diverse and easy-to-use database management solutions out there. The cloud-based platform is used by thousands of businesses across the world, including Fortune 500 companies, startups, educational institutions and charities. 

It offers a range of tools that aim to transform the way you organize business data. You can structure it based on metrics such as names and emails, link records together, and gain a better insight into your data by using a range of formulas and equations. What’s more, the interface is easy-to-use and requires no coding knowledge.   

To get real-time data insights, you can set up dashboards kitted out with charts, graphs and pivot tables. You can also conduct searches across datasets and make use of flexible filters. And just like TeamDesk, there’s a variety of pre-built templates available, meaning you can set up advanced databases quickly. 

The software comes with some neat e-commerce abilities, too. You’re able to process payments, donations and online orders through integration with payment providers such as PayPal and Stripe. Currently, prices start at $39 (£29) per month, although there’s a 14-day free trial available.   


3. TablePlus

Powerful database software for Mac users

Manage several databases 
Native app 
Multi-tab views 

Looking for an on-premise database management platform? Then look no further than TablePlus. Available for the Mac, it lets you create and manage a plethora of relational databases from one user interface, including the likes of MySQL, SQLite, Redis, Amazon Redshift and Postgres.

It lets you create, query, edit and save databases easily from a native app that’s fast and easy-to-use. However, one of the defining features of this software is that it comes with native TLS encryption to ensure that important business data never gets into the wrong hands. 

As for other features, there are multi-tab and multi-window modes so you can get a quick overview of various datasets. And you can track changes you’ve made to your databases through a function called Code Review. You can also split databases into tabs and highlight different datasets to increase productivity.  

This software is used by major companies and organizations such as Spotify, Apple, Intel, FastMail, Stanford University, Shutterstock, and Rocket Internet. You can purchase TablePlus for $49 (£36). If you end up buying the solution but decide it isn’t for you, there’s a 7-day money-back policy.   

Oracle Database Cloud Service

4. Oracle Database Cloud Service

A multilayered database offering

Suitable for app development 
Easy-to-use web console 
Tailored for any company 

Oracle provides some of the most popular and advanced enterprise technology solutions on the market, and it also has some world-class database products. A great example is its Database Cloud Service, which has been designed to support workloads of all sizes.

It’s a multilayered database product that comes with encryption solutions running out of the box, and has been designed especially for application development, test and production deployment. The software sports an easy-to-use web console where users can quickly create and manage databases.  

Users get access to a range of provisioning choices and pre-packaged bundles, including options for DevOps, performance, security, analytics and monitoring. Data can be managed through tools such as SSH, SQL Developer, Data Pump and SQL Plus. You’ll need to get in touch with Oracle for a quote on pricing, but can demo the software to make an informed decision.   

Microsoft Access

5. Microsoft Access

An industry veteran

Pre-designed templates 
Available with Office 365 

First released in 1992, Microsoft Access is one of the oldest commercial database solutions out there. It’s an easy-to-use tool that lets you create databases for your business. Because it runs on the cloud, you can easily share databases with your colleagues, and there’s built-in encryption to ensure your data is always protected.  

If you’re adept with technology, you can create your own custom databases to suit the needs of your organization. However, there’s also the option to choose from a collection of professionally-designed database templates. 

The app can be integrated with SQL Server and Azure SQL, making it easier to scale large datasets. Access is available as part of the Office 365 package, which starts at £59 ($78) per year. Whatever the case, you can try out the software for free before committing to a premium plan.