Hey there, tech enthusiasts! Today, we’re going to take an exciting journey through the world of databases. We’ll explore their history, their crucial role in WordPress, and even dive into some of the most popular database software out there. So, buckle up and let’s get this show on the road!
A Brief History of Database Software
Imagine this, databases have been storing information since ancient times. Picture ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Sumerians, they were already using accounting techniques to keep track of data.
Then came the 1960s, a time when computers started becoming a cost-effective option for private organizations. This era gave birth to two popular data models: a network model called CODASYL and a hierarchical model called IMS. Around this time, IBM even put to use one of the first commercially successful database systems, the SABRE system, to help American Airlines manage its reservations data.
As we moved into the 1970s, E.F. Codd introduced the game-changing relational database. His model cleverly disconnected the database’s schema, or logical organization, from physical information storage, which became the standard principle for database systems. During this time, creators rolled out two major relational database system prototypes: Ingres and System R.
Zooming into the 1980s, SQL, or Structured Query Language, took the stage as the standard query language. The commercial success of relational databases was skyrocketing, leading to a major decline in the popularity of network and hierarchical database models. And that’s how we arrived at the database landscape we see today!
WordPress and Databases
Now, let’s shift our focus to WordPress. If you’re dipping your toes into the world of website creation for the first time, you’ll find WordPress to be a beginner-friendly platform. But here’s something you might not know: WordPress relies heavily on a database to store all the information required for your site to function!
Specifically, WordPress uses a database management system called MySQL. This database becomes the storage unit for all the data of your WordPress website. We’re talking about posts, pages, comments, user data, site-wide settings, and even plugin and theme-related data. Essentially, your entire site resides within its database.
So, what happens when you install a new WordPress website? Well, part of the process involves creating a database for it. This database software is the powerhouse that enables your site to run and save any changes that you or your visitors make. So, next time you’re on WordPress, remember the crucial role that databases play!
Most Popular Relational Databases
Relational databases, as the name suggests, are all about relationships. They actively use a structured schema to organize data into tables. Let’s explore some of the most popular ones:
- The most popular is MySQL, the friendly neighbor of databases, is always there to lend a hand. As a free and open-source relational database management system, it’s known for its robustness and ease of use. It actively handles multiple requests per second and manages large loads of data.
- Just down the street, we have MariaDB, a popular offshoot of MySQL. The original developers of MySQL created MariaDB, and they’ve made a promise to keep it open source. It’s got a reputation for performance, stability, and openness. Whether you’re dealing with a small application or a large-scale system, MariaDB handles it all with ease.
- Next up, we have Microsoft SQL Server, the trusted old friend who never lets you down. Developed by Microsoft, this relational database management system is trusted by many businesses for its speed, security, and scalability. It’s designed to actively handle complex queries and large databases.
- Then we have Oracle Database, the jack of all trades. Known for its variable use cases, this multi-model database management system can handle anything from a small blog to a large e-commerce site.
- Also, let’s not forget about PostgreSQL, the seasoned veteran of databases. This powerful, open-source object-relational database system has been actively developed for over 35 years. Its longevity has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, robust features, and performance.
- Finally, in the realm of relational databases, we have IBM Informix. Known for its scalability, it’s a good choice for web applications that need to grow over time. Plus, it offers high availability and low administration costs, making it a cost-effective choice for many businesses.
Most Popular NoSQL Databases
Transitioning from relational databases, let’s now explore NoSQL databases. These databases are non-tabular and store data differently than relational tables. Here are some popular NoSQL databases:
- Starting with MongoDB, the cool kid on the block. This source-available cross-platform document-oriented database program is classified as a NoSQL database program and uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas.
- Next, we have Apache Cassandra, the reliable workhorse. This free and open-source, distributed, wide column store, NoSQL database management system is designed to handle large amounts of data across many commodity servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure.
- Moving on to Redis, the quick thinker. This open-source, in-memory data structure store is used as a database, cache, and message broker.
- Last but not least, we have Amazon DynamoDB, the powerhouse. This fully managed proprietary NoSQL database service supports key-value and document data structures and is offered by Amazon.com as part of the Amazon Web Services portfolio.
Remember, the choice of database often depends on the specific requirements of a project. Each of these database systems has its own strengths and is suited to different types of applications. So, choose wisely and happy hosting!