How to Select a Right Database for Mobile App Development

Mobile apps

Suppose your mobile app designers create catchy graphics, dynamic UI, nice content, layout, and now it is time to optimize the app for UX and performance during the development process. Your testing or quality assurance team is not giving node of approval at all. Reasons? App back-end database glitches. Inconsistent data flow, denial of services, and slow or faulty database retrievals.

For business or enterprise, data is a precious asset. So, the security of database and data interactions or transits is an ultimate demand in any mobile app. Synchronization of different kinds of data within one or more databases often witness data conflicts.

These very things pinpoint one obvious fact that we are missing something at database aspects of our mobile applications. It also signifies how the right database selection makes a difference in the success of your mobile application. The current post is giving highly useful hints to choose the right database for your next mobile app development project. Let’s examine all important aspects regarding databases in app development.

Step 1 – Know Your Data

Today, most of the apps are demanding data from its users. B2C applications require user registration with some personal or professional data to offer secure login experiences. B2B apps accumulate business data. Finance category of apps has financial data to offer secure and quick login. Ecommerce apps are striving for personal, professional, and transactional data.

Apart from users, the app also collects data from social media, app interactions, and buying history to offer highly personalized user experiences. These all require a huge data storage capacity, immense data exchanging capabilities, and most importantly data analytics power to present data in a variety of formats.

What Is a Database?

In short, you need a database management system (DBMS) to meet our mobile app database needs. Now, DBMS is a software solution for anything pertaining to data in your mobile app functionality, selection of the right one is crucial for app performance and eventually for the app success.

Step 2 – Know Your Database Needs

Know Data Attributes

If you know your data attributes well in advance before choosing a database solution,you can compare different DBMS available in the market and match right one or more as per your requirements today and tomorrow. So, let me give some hints regarding various data attributes for your mobile app.

Data Structure

It determines how you store and retrieve data. Your data may have a variety of formats, and you have to select your database accordingly, so you get complete support and avoid data conflicts during exchanging and syncing.

Data Size

It depends on what your application is doing and how much data need to store, analyze, and to exchange. You need to consider the quantity of data, file systems, servers,and vendor-specific optimization during database selection.

Speed of Data Exchanging & Scaling of Database

Speed of data exchanges mostly depends on the speed of incoming reads and writes to the application. Based on the service needs you have to select a database for your read-heavy or write-heavy apps. Scaling of database architecture is relying on future I/O needs.

Step 3 – Get Help from Data Modeling

It is true that we always cannot map out the needs for the selection of the right database. Therefore, you have to pass through the data modeling process to fix it. The process has the following needs:

  1. For a conceptual model
  2. Identify the entities
  3. Segregate associated attributes
  4. Recognize entity relationships, which you might need

Step 4 – Match Needs To be Based On Data Modeling with Database Solutions

By following a rigorous data modeling process, you can clarify the data structure you need for your mobile application. Now, you must know existing and successful database solutions in the market. Let me introduce a few of them here.

Types of Databases

Databases are whether in tabular format or non-tabular or documental format. To work with any kind of database an especial language is a requirement. For table-based databases, it is Sequential Query Language (SQL) while for non-tabular databases it is No SQL types of languages are needed.

We will not take database operating language as a base for database classification; rather we choose data types in due course.

Operational Database (ODB)

It is for real-time operations and data management. It may be SQL or No SQL type.It is an ideal solution for the app dealing with data for customers, inventory, and personal database needs.

Relational Database (RDB)

It is a set of data tables with described relationships.  Primary keys and foreign keys are linking tables and establishing relationships. Here, SQL used as its API to interact with the data stored in tables. Table format helps easy storage and retrieval of data. The majority of mobile apps use SQL types of RDB for best performance.

Data Warehouse

Warehouse means for long-term storage. Many businesses and their apps require long-term storage and use of data. Mainly, for management of business queries and various data analysis to take decisions or prepare reports.

Distributed Database (DDB)

In multinational or large scale businesses, data needs are distributed among several branches or different geographic areas, DDB is a solution with one database at each node/branch. It requires real-time syncing and updating.

End-user Database (EUDB)

Some enterprises keep databases separate for a different level of users. The end-user database helps the business to meet database requirements for its end-users. These databases may be for external customers or internal end-users of mobile applications.

Ideal Criteria for the Selection of Database

After a glimpse of different databases, it is time to set ideal criteria for your database selection process. In other words, what you should look into the databases.

Client Platform Support

We know the majority of mobile app database solutions offer support to the major mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. If you want to keep all data on client devices, the database must be of lightweight and fast to process with somewhat weak processing power.

Checking the platform support for DBMS coding is essential. However, today our mobile apps going beyond mobile devices and opting to sync with IoT and Wearable devices.

Technical Fundamentals as Selection Criteria

Technically, the databases models classified its technical structure or architecture such as:

  • Relational database
  • Non-relational or document database
  • Columnar database
  • Key/value database
  • Graph database

Now, you have to determine which architecture is excellent for your mobile app data needs. Another aspect that needs consideration is the ratio of reads to writes along with throughput to meet those requirements.

Requirements of Multiple Databases

Most of enterprise scale mobile applications deal with multitudes of database requirements to meet the diverse needs. For example, an app has search requirements with complex needs. It also requires meeting reporting capabilities. It has a data pipeline to accept and analyze incoming data. It also often happens in the case of cross-platform mobile app development where support for more than one OS demands different kinds of databases in a single app system.

In such a scenario, an application demands more than one types of database to meet all requirements. It may require mingling of SQL and No SQL databases or other types of databases. You have to keep ready for flexibility in database coding and avoid data syncing issues right before data conflicts take place. Another useful advice is to use a master database to keep data as canonical databases and support multiple databases with the required security. Cloud-based database solutions also ease the job in this regard.

Check Needs for Data Security

Technically, the implementation of data security isbased on the status of data suchas stored data and data in transition. Encryption technologies can help yousecure data in transit. For stored data, authentication technologies for dataread/write access is an excellent way.

Authentication of the database is a key security aspect.  You can select user role-based authentication processes considering authentication providers, such as custom, public, and standard.

At the End

Looking at the complexities in right database selection for your mobile application,none dare to go the DIY way. Looking for the right mobile app database consultant? SysBunny is an ideal destination to get the right guidance, as well as mobile app development,  to achieve desired success in the market.Would you like to discuss your project with our impeccable team of mobile application developers? Or hire a dedicated app developer to get free from all stresses?

Hemant Parmar is a veteran mobile app consultant. He is co-founder of the company. Thanks to his prolonged exposure to mobile application development projects for myriads of niches and industries, he is capable of providing high-end mobile app development consultancy. He is devoted to providing honest and transparent consultancy services for clienteles looking for righteous guidance to augment their niche services/products using the latest mobile technologies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *