What Are Databases in App Development?
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The technical engineering of cutting-edge digital solutions forms a core practice within Lizard Global. And although many of you are familiar with the basics of app development, it’s always a good time to learn more. This blog dives deeper into the world of databases in application development to give you a peek behind the screens of our app developers at Lizard Global.
What is a database?
A database is a structured and organized collection of data. The main purpose of a database is to efficiently order and manage large amounts of information and make it accessible to users in various ways. In the case of app development, databases make sure that all the data of that app, including the code, user data, and much more, are safely stored in one place.
At Lizard Global, we use MongoDB as one of our databases in the app development process. However, MongoDB isn’t just a regular database, it’s a database server, which consists of a single server that contains multiple databases, like a database for databases. MongoDB is what we call a non-relational, NoSQL database. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. A query language like SQL is a type of programming language that’s created to facilitate the process of retrieving specific information from a database. NoSQL stands for “not only SQL”. A NoSQL database is designed to handle unstructured and unpredictable data. The inside structure isn’t built on tables like relational databases but rather makes use of documents, key values, graphs, or wide-column stores. The data inside a database such as MongoDB or Firestore isn’t stored in a typical structured SQL format, which makes it better for handling large data sets, and it provides higher scalability than SQL databases. Besides noSQL, there are many other types of databases. Here are some examples:
A centralized database stores information in one single centralized location. Users from any location can easily access this data. Authentication procedures make sure that only validated users can access the stored information. This way, users are sure that the data stored within the database is secured.
Contrary to centralized databases, distributed databases store information in different locations. Data isn’t stored in one central place but instead is distributed among multiple locations that are interconnected by means of communication links. Distributed databases can be categorized into two sub-types: homogeneous DDB and heterogeneous DDB. Databases with the same underlying hardware, running on the same operating system and procedures are homogeneous. Databases that execute on different operating systems and carry different types of hardware are heterogeneous.
SQL is an example of a relational database, which means that data is stored in the form of rows and columns, which together form a categorized table or relation. The relational database uses SQL for the storage, maintenance, and management of data. Each database obtains a key that identifies data and differentiates it from other datasets.
Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, as it provides an efficient and safe way for people to work remotely. A cloud database is an online storage unit for data that allows users to store their documents in the ‘cloud’. This means that their data isn’t bound to a specific device or machine, and is easily accessed from any location with an internet connection. A cloud database is optimized for a virtualized working environment and provides high-level scalability and availability on demand.
Our tools: Cloud Firestore
At Lizard Global, we work with a variety of tools and services to optimize our development processes. Cloud Firestore is one of these tools and runs on flexible, scalable, and hierarchical data structures. Cloud Firestore is a NoSQL database for documents that lets users easily store, access, sync, and query data for mobile and web applications on a large scale. Firestore typically stores its data as documents and collections. These documents are often connected to sub-collections, which, in their turn, contain other documents, which themselves can also contain documents, and so on. Firestore is a scalable, cloud-based, NoSQL database that also offers live synchronization and offline support for mobile and web development. Developers can build mobile and web applications and access their data even without an internet connection. Because of that, Cloud Firestore forms a serverless solution designed to provide freedom and flexibility for developers.
Need a hand?
At Lizard Global, we love everything tech-related, and we gladly share our passion and knowledge with you. Even complex topics relating to software engineering and technical specifications are worth sharing, as we believe that transparency is key. Are you curious about our development process, and the tools and technologies we use on a daily basis? Don’t hesitate to give us a call or leave a message with your questions or a blog topic request. We gladly tell you all about it.