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How do I Choose the Best Business Database Software?

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  • Written By: Vanessa Harvey
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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There basically are seven things that should be considered when choosing the best business database software. They include speed, price, data locking, learning curve, support for Structured Query Language (SQL) subqueries, support for procedural programming languages and compliance with atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability (ACID) standards. A basic but sound understanding of each of these things is vital in order to make an informed decision when choosing the best business database software.

Simultaneous access to records and the performance of queries are carried out at different speeds depending on the design of the program and the number of people accessing records. It is a good idea to consider what type and the number of queries that will be issued on a regular basis, as well as the number of people who will need to access records simultaneously. If those numbers are high, it is advisable to select a program known for speed.

Database software powerful enough to be relied upon by large and well-known corporations is available completely free of charge as a download or as business software that comes bundled with some open-source operating systems. You might want to consider free business database software if the funds with which you have to work are limited. The prices of fee-based database software programs can range from very economical to extremely expensive.

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Familiarize yourself with the type of data locking method used by the software. Data locking is the process of locking a record while it is being accessed or updated in order to prevent someone else from accessing the same record and thereby causing data corruption. There are different methods of data locking, and some are faster than others. Locking can cause performance problems if numerous people are accessing records simultaneously, so you will need to consider the computing demands of the company in order to choose the best business database software. Keep in mind that although some database programs are considered relatively easy to learn, others have a very steep learning curve, and software that is not understood by the people who must work with it is of little use.

ACID compliance refers to the various aspects of data integrity during the processing of records. Some business database software is ACID compliant all of the time by design. Other programs permit you to decide whether to use ACID-compliant tables.

SQL subqueries let you combine multiple operations or commands into a single operation. Very complex procedures can be achieved via SQL subqueries, but this freedom is not available in all business database software. Use of a procedural language to write functions to perform operations not possible with only the software is allowed in some programs, as is the use of what is known as a "trigger," which can create an exception if a user enters invalid or illogical data. It might serve you to make a list of the seven basic features and characteristics of business database software so that you don't forget to consider each one as you review a specific program and the demands of the business to determine whether the software can handle the tasks that must be done.

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