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22. Databases > Do You Really Need a Relational Database?

Do You Really Need a Relational Database?

It is common for web developers to jump to the conclusion that they need an SQL-compliant RDBMS like Oracle, when in fact they have a rather small data set that could be organized as one table. Commercial RDBMSs are expensive as well as nontrivial to install and administer.

When You Need a Professional Database

Here are some indications that you need a professional database:

  • You have more than a megabyte of data.

  • You have multiple tables and want to do complex queries.

  • You need extremely high reliability and performance.

  • You need transaction processing abilities.

If this sounds like your situation, then you’ll benefit from the performance features of commercial RDBMSs, such as the ability to work from raw disk rather than the OS’s filesystem, custom threading models, and query optimizations.


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