DatabasesDatabases can be used in websites to store content and indeed configuration information, making them more dynamic, instead of just having static HTML pages. Having a database driven, or content managed website, can allow users with little or no knowledge of web technologies such as HTML, to manage content, if an administrative interface is provided. This is how Content Management Systems, or CMSs, such as Drupal, Joomla, Umbraco and WordPress work.

Below are some of the databases that can be used as part of a website:


MariaDBMariaDB was first released back in January 2009. It is an open source Relational Database Management System based on the MySQL database. The original MySQL developers created MariaDB following MySQL's acquisition by Oracle. The developers of MariaDB intend to maintain compatibility with MySQL so that it can be used as a drop-in replacement for the database.

As with MySQL, MariaDB does not come with a Graphical User Interface (GUI), but there are a number of applications available such as, Database Workbench, phpMyAdmin and SQLyog that can be used for this purpose.

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MongoDBMongoDB is a free, open source database that is available across many different platforms, which is said to provide high performance, high availability, and easy scalability. Unlike the other databases covered here, MongoDB is a document-oriented database. Instead of data being stored in tables, each of which having multiple rows or records, MongoDB stores data in collections, which contain documents. Documents, which are similar to JSON objects, comprise of sets of key and value pairs, for example, 'Name' as the key and 'Fred' as the value.

MongoDB is suited to large scale projects, either for the web or desktop applications, where large volumes of data need to be stored, that has little to no structure. It is also ideal for projects where the development and release cycle is short.

MongoDB integrates with many different technologies, including support for a variety of popular programming languages. Due to the similarities between the structure of documents and JSON, it integrates well with other JavaScript based technologies, such as Express, Angular and Node.js in a MEAN Stack or Full Stack JavaScript application.

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MySQLMySQL is an open source Relational Database Management System, available on many platforms including Microsoft Windows and Linux, which was first released by its Swedish creators back in 1995. The database was bought by Sun Microsystems in 2008, who were subsequently purchased in 2009 by Oracle Corporation.

A popular use for MySQL is in web applications, in conjunction with a scripting language such as PHP. PHP based Content Management Systems such as Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, can all utilise a MySQL database.

MySQL does not come with a Graphical User Interface (GUI), however, there are a number of applications available, which can be used for this purpose, including, MySQL Workbench, AdminerphpMyAdmin and SQLyog.

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Oracle DatabaseThe Oracle database was first publicly released back in 1979 and is developed by the Oracle Corporation, which started out in 1977 under the name of Software Development Laboratories. In 1979, the company changed its name to Relational Software, Inc. and then to Oracle Corporation in 1982. Oracle started out as a relational database management system and it wasn't until 1997 that it began to support object oriented development.

Oracle databases are well suited to large scale projects, either for the web or desktop applications, as they can store millions of records, which take up terabytes of storage space. They can also be used on many different platforms, including Microsoft Windows and Linux.

To undertake development projects that utilise an Oracle database, there are numerous tools available, from Oracle Corporation themselves, as well as third party options. Oracle also has its own database programming language, PL/SQL, which is utilised in some of these tools.

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PostgreSQLPostgreSQL is said to be the world's most advanced open source database, which was first released back in 1996. It is an object-relational database management system, which contains many advanced features, is very fast and is also known for its standards compliance.

PostgreSQL can be used for anything from a simple web application to a database that contains millions of records. As with MySQL and MariaDB, it is available on many platforms, including Microsoft Windows and Linux. It can also be used with numerous programming and web development scripting languages including, C, C++, Java, .Net, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby.

PostgreSQL can be installed as part of a package that includes a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called pgAdmin, however, there are other GUIs available including, DataGrip, DBeaver, OmniDB, Navicat for PostgreSQL and TablePlus.

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SQL Server

SQL ServerSQL Server is a relational database management system that was first released back in 1989 as a joint project between Microsoft, Sybase and Ashton-Tate, to compete with databases such as Oracle, amongst others. This release was available on the OS/2 operating system and was similar in functionality to Sybase SQL Server for the UNIX operating system. SQL Server was first available on the Microsoft Windows operating system with the release of Windows NT in 1993. Around about the same time the partnership dissolved and Microsoft obtained exclusive rights to the versions of SQL Server that were available on Microsoft operating systems.

Today there are a number of different editions of Microsoft SQL Server, each of which is aimed at a different target audience. The editions include a scaled down Express Edition, which is free but has limited features, a Web Edition specifically for use on the web and an Enterprise Edition for large scale projects, amongst others.

To incorporate SQL Server into development project, software such as Microsoft Visual Studio and SQL Server Reporting Services can be used, along with other third-party software. SQL Server can also be used as part of a Content Management System, an example of which is Umbraco.

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