Five popular databases for mobile apps in 2022 - Choose the right one for your application | Trigent Vantage (2023)

Today, mobile apps are the face of any service or business online. One of the biggest challenges for a mobile app developer is to choose the right database to support the app.

The app can require a database for multiple reasons such as, to store the following information

  • user authentication information,
  • transactions carried out by a user,
  • listing and updating inventory,
  • offline state when out of network

The database for an app is selected based on the purpose of building the app. This blog aims to aid the app developer in choosing the correct database based on some specific criteria. In doing so, we have listed five popular databases for mobile apps in 2022, with their benefits and limitations to help an app developer make an informed decision.

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Choosing the right database for your mobile application

Here are some of the vital pointers to look out for while selecting a mobile database

Need for using the local store of the device

  • If the app does not have a server requirement
  • If the app needs to function everywhere, even when the network is off
  • If the app is a part of a distributed landscape and needs to store data pertaining to itself
  • If the load is to be shared with the app’s local store and a central database

Cross-platform support

  • If the app has to be built across ios or android or all platforms
  • If the app is hybrid

Data Model

  • A relational database would be the right choice if the schema is well defined and requires consistency, more writes and complex querying.
  • For a continuously evolving app, a NoSQL database makes sense.

Synchronization support

If the application needs to sync with peers or a central database, it is best to go with a database that provides a sync feature such as Realm or Couchbase Lite.

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Type of database

One would need to go in for a structured RDBMS or an unstructured NoSQL database based on many factors. These factors are:

Schema evolution – A startup or, broadly, an internet company requires quicker Agile cycles of product changes and, therefore, a flexible data schema. Choosing an RDBMS would mean expensive Alter statements and time-consuming data migration. It would need a full-time DBA, whereas a NoSQL database is built for this kind of flexibility.

Fixed data structure – An RDBMS would make sense over a NoSQL. If the app requires a large volume of data reads instead of writes, a NoSQL could be considered.

Storing large volumes of data – Again, a NoSQL database comes with sharding facilities out of the box. Large data storage can be achieved manually with RDBMS, but they are classically built for vertical scalability.

Transactions – While a few NoSQL databases ensure consistency, the more extensive set provides availability over real-time consistency. This is where an RDBMS works best.

Analytics – RDBMS works best for complex analytical queries.

Caching – A good datastore for managing user sessions would be a key value of the NoSQL database.

Social network operations – A graph-based NoSQL database would work best.

Cost – Legacy RDBMS requires expensive hardware and annual licenses. Cloud-based databases could run up a bill based on the kind of querying or updates required.

SAAS-based app – Ideally, the database would be on the cloud. Banking apps require high security and, therefore, might be on-premise.

App or platform’s technology– Choice of the database can also be governed by the type of technology used. Mongo is popularly used with NodeJS, Postgresql with Python, and Mysql with Java. It is not a deciding factor but based on the skill pool.

Have questions on which database would suit your application the best? Talk to us now!

Five popular databases for mobile apps development

Here are five popular databases available in the market today to choose from for mobile app development –


SQLite is a lightweight SQL database engine following the principles of RDBMS. It is built into every mobile device.


  1. Lightweight – As is needed in a mobile device.
  2. Cost – Free and zero configuration.
  3. Performance – Very fast when compared to writing the file system
  4. Reliable – It updates content continuously so that data is not lost due to power failure.
  5. Platform support – It provides cross-platform support like iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.


  1. Not scalable and not suitable for large data storage.
  2. It does not support concurrent transactions
  3. Lacks built-in data security features
  4. It’s not a full-fledged RDBMS like MYSQL lacking fine-grained access control, support for joins, a GUI for ease of use.


Realm is an open-source object database for the mobile app by Mongo. It runs on the client device and is available for both native and cross framework apps.


  1. Object-oriented data model and therefore easy for developers to understand and work with
  2. Realm is offline first. Data is read and written to the device. If server-side sync is required, then Realm sync can be enabled. This synchronizes data with the Mongo realm using a background thread on the server-side.
  3. Realm enables fast querying with its lazy loading and a zero-copy architecture. All Realm objects are live objects that reflect the most current data and can be subscribed to for changes.
  4. Realm Triggers automatically execute a function at a scheduled time or when an event occurs, such as a change to a database or a call to an HTTP endpoint.
  5. Data can be encrypted in-flight and at rest, keeping even the most sensitive data secure. Realm has built-in user management that can be integrated with third-party authentication providers such as Google and Facebook. Rules can be defined for controlling data access.
  6. Realm is open source. It is distributed under the Apache 2.0 license and backed by MongoDB.
  7. It is cross-platform and can be used with Swift, Objective-C, Java, Kotlin, C#, and JavaScript.


  1. Realm affects the apk size.
  2. Realm requires a schema to model the data and relationships. Therefore migrating to Realm DB comes at a cost.
  3. Realm objects can be modified only within a transaction, making it cumbersome and requiring disciplined use of the database.
  4. Auto-increment of primary keys does not come out of the box. It has to be taken care of programmatically.
  5. Closing Realm connection after use should be followed strictly to prevent memory leaks as the garbage collector does not know how to work with Realm objects.
  6. Realm Sync does not currently support sharded MongoDB Atlas clusters. However, a sharded cluster can be accessed as data sources through functions and MongoDB Data Access.
  7. Syncing to Mongo at the back-end comes at a cost.

Couchbase Lite

Couchbase Lite is another NoSQL-based mobile database for the offline-first experience.


  1. Couchbase mobile supports both native and cross-platform frameworks
  2. Couchbase provides an end to end data management solution referred to as Couchbase Mobile with –
    1. Couchbase Lite as the embedded store for the app,
    2. Sync gateway synchronizes data over the web using constructs such as REST APIs, batch updates, events.
    3. Couchbase Server, which can serve as the full-fledged central back-end store
  3. Data security is provided across the entire stack, including user authentication, role-based access, and data encryption at rest and in motion.
  4. Data can be stored as JSON documents or blobs. Therefore storing multimedia, IoT, or regular data of applications can be stored easily.
  5. Since Couchbase Mobile allows JSON documents, it is schemaless, and therefore migration comes at zero cost.
  6. It is lightweight, between 1-5MB


  1. Arbitrary querying is not possible. It has to be done only through views which are indexes internally and therefore extremely fast. But views don’t work well with complex queries that might require more than one view to resolve.
  2. CouchDB does not work well with full-text searches.
  3. Doesn’t have an out-of-the-box object mapper. This needs to be coded in by the developer.
  4. Couchbase is shipped with a small instance of Memcache to handle the in-memory cache, which hogs memory for many documents and degrades performance.
  5. Enterprise support is expensive.

Cloud Firestore

Cloud Firestore is a NoSQL database provided by Google as a part of its mobile application development platform, Firebase. While the data storage is online-first, it does support offline data persistence. This feature, when enabled, caches a copy of the data to write/read when the device is offline. It syncs back to the server when the device is back on the network. The benefit of choosing Firestore is that it’s a part of Firebase, which provides a host of services to enable the app developer to use ready-made features such as user authentication to analytics with minimal customization and no servers to manage.


  1. Data is stored in the form of documents that can be queried easily
  2. Provides automatic sync of data between devices offline data storage and notifies the app on data changes.
  3. Firestore provides strong authentication and authorization based on user identification and other criteria. It also integrates with Firebase authentication, which supports user/password and third-party authentication integration such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
  4. Very high performance.
  5. Backed by Google’s cloud infrastructure, Firestore scales easily.
  6. It provides excellent cross-platform support.


  1. It can become expensive.
  2. Complex queries and full text-based search are not handled well in most NoSQL databases.
  3. Offline query performance is slow.
  4. Document size is limited to 1 MB
  5. Writes are expensive and limited to 1 write/second. It works best for read-intensive apps.

Oracle Berkeley DB

Oracle Berkeley DB is an open-source embeddable database allowing developers the choice of SQL, Key/Value, XML/XQuery, or Java Object storage for their data model. It is available in three versions -Berkeley DB, Berkeley DB Java Edition, and Berkeley DB XML


  1. Provides a choice of schema between NoSQL and RDBMS
  2. Berkley DB provides a SQL API that is fully compatible with SQLite. This gives the developer an option to migrate to Berkeley or use SQLite under the hood.
  3. Provides cross-platform support
  4. Rich querying, indexing, and transactional support provide a tremendous full-text search for the SQL implementation.


  1. Heavier footprint compared to the NoSQL option.
  2. It allows an open-source license as long as the developer’s code is freely redistributable. Otherwise, one has to go for the commercial license.
  3. Support under an open-source license is not great.

Ultimately, selecting an ideal database for your mobile application depends on its requirements and feasibility for the application.

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  • Five popular databases for mobile apps in 2022 - Choose the right one for your application | Trigent Vantage (3)

    Vijendra Kumar H

    Practice Head-Cloud and Mobility at Trigent with more than two decades of IT experience. He is an alumnus of BITS, Pilani with educational qualification of BE, MS, MBA & PGDAC. He works out of Trigent's offshore software development center in Bangalore.

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What is the most popular database in 2022? ›

Now let's see more about them, compare them and see their pros and cons.
  1. Oracle. Oracle Database is a widely used RDBMS across industries. ...
  2. MySQL. MySQL is one of the most popular databases in 2022. ...
  3. SQL Server. ...
  4. PostgreSQL. ...
  5. MongoDB.
Sep 13, 2022

What is the most popular mobile database? ›

Choosing a Database for Mobile Application Development
  1. MySQL. MySQL is one of the most well-known SQL databases on the market, so it is also commonly used within the development of mobile applications. ...
  2. PostgreSQL. ...
  3. MongoDB. ...
  4. Amazon Web Services DynamoDB. ...
  5. Couchbase.
Jun 17, 2022

What database do most apps use? ›

Due to its inclusion in the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), SQLite, an open-source relational database, is the most common database technology associated with Android applications. For Android apps, SQLite is most often paired with Room, a framework for managing the lifecycle of objects.

What are the general types of databases that can be used in mobile applications? ›

Popular Mobile App Databases
  • MySQL: An open-source, multi-threaded, and easy-to-use SQL database.
  • PostgreSQL: A powerful, open-source object-based, relational database that is highly customizable.
  • Redis: An open-source, low maintenance, key/value store that is used for data caching in mobile applications.
Nov 11, 2022

What are the 5 database names? ›

MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch, Cassandra, MariaDB, IBM Db2. Databases are the cornerstone of any Software Applications.

What are the top 3 most popular database? ›

A list of 8 popular databases
  1. Oracle Database. It's no surprise that Oracle is consistently at the top of lists of popular databases. ...
  2. MySQL. MySQL is one of the most popular databases for web-based applications. ...
  3. Microsoft SQL Server. ...
  4. PostgreSQL. ...
  5. MongoDB. ...
  6. MariaDB. ...
  7. IBM DB2. ...
  8. Redis.
Mar 3, 2023

Which database is used in mobile? ›

Common examples in mobile databases would be UserDefaults in the iOS SDK, and SharedPreferences from Android. Object-oriented database. This is a database that can work with complex data objects as used in object-oriented programming languages, such as Swift or Kotlin.

What are the two most popular databases? ›

Top-Rated Databases Across the Internet
4Microsoft SQL Server
1 more row
Jan 11, 2022

What are today's most popular database systems? ›

Finally, according to DB-Engines ranking, as of April 2023*, these are the top 10 database management systems:
  • Oracle.
  • MySQL.
  • Microsoft SQL Server.
  • PostgreSQL.
  • MongoDB.
  • Redis.
  • IBM DB2.
  • Elasticsearch.

Which one is the best database? ›

Top 10 Relational Databases
  • Oracle Database.
  • Cloud SQL.
  • MySQL.
  • Azure SQL Database.
  • SAP HANA Cloud.
  • PostgreSQL.
  • Amazon Aurora.
  • IBM Db2.
6 days ago

How do I choose a database for an app? ›

Database selection criteria
  1. Operation and maintenance costs: A reliable monitoring and alerting system. ...
  2. Service stability: ...
  3. Performance: ...
  4. Scalability: Whether it's easy to scale horizontally and vertically.
  5. Security: Whether it meets audit requirements and prevents SQL injections and information leakage.
Feb 16, 2021

What is the most used database in iOS apps? ›

The Most popular Databases for iOS Apps is SQLite. It's open-source, lightweight, and easy to use. Plus, it integrates well with Swift App Development. Another option is Realm, which is also open-source and easy to use.

What are five database applications? ›

Some examples of such applications include:
  • Online encyclopedias (Wikipedia)
  • Social media websites (Facebook)
  • CRM systems (Salesforce)
  • Email systems (Gmail)
  • E-commerce websites (Amazon)

What are the 2 types of database applications? ›

Two types of database structure

Databases typically have one of two basic forms: single-file or flat file database. multi-file relational or structured database.

What are the 4 main databases? ›

The four main database types are web-enabled, Desktop, Server and Cloud DBaas. It is important to know that most solutions can publish or access the web.

What are 3 examples of common databases? ›

Some examples of popular database software or DBMSs include MySQL, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, FileMaker Pro, Oracle Database, and dBASE.

What is the most popular database model? ›

The most popular database model is relational. This is employed in most websites and many offline databases. In a relational database, data in one table is related to data in other tables.

Is Amazon a database? ›

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a managed service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. Amazon Aurora is a relational database built for the cloud.

Which database is used by Google? ›

And with Google's managed open source and third-party database offerings, like Cloud SQL for MySQL, Cloud SQL for PostgresSQL, and Cloud SQL for SQL Server, you can build or migrate your apps without the headache of managing the database yourself.

What database is used in Iphone? ›

The most common database on iOS is SQLite, as this is included in the iOS SDKd, thus available to developers out of the box. We will discuss SQLite and other database options later in the article.

Do mobile apps have databases? ›

In a cloud database model, mobile and IoT apps use a database that runs in the cloud. The cloud database model offers a quick on-ramp to a standardized and distributed infrastructure that provides scale, elasticity and flexibility for mobile apps.

What is the best database for iOS and Android? ›

The 3 Best Databases for iOS Apps
  1. SQLite. SQLite is the most used database engine in the world. ...
  2. Realm. Realm – formally MongoDB Realm under a 2019 merge – is an open-source object database management system. ...
  3. Core Data. Core Data is a framework sponsored by Apple itself.

What database does Facebook use? ›

If you need a quick answer here it is: MySQL is the primary database used by Facebook for storing all social data. They started with the InnoDB MySQL database engine and then wrote MyRocksDB, which was eventually used as the MySQL Database engine.

What database does Amazon use? ›

Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra) is a scalable, highly available, and managed Apache Cassandra–compatible database service.

What is the biggest database? ›

If you're researching a topic and cannot find the right information on the internet, the largest database in the world, the Library of Congress should be your destination of choice. For users researching U.S. history, around 5 million pieces from the LC's collection can be found online at American Memory.

What is new trending database? ›

MongoDB is the most popular database to use in 2021. It was released back in 2009, and it is considered challenging for object-oriented languages like RDBMS (Relational databases management system) because they have a different way of storing data.

What database to use in 2023? ›

Market Share for Top Relational Databases Technologies
RankingTechnologyMarket share
1MySQL44.68 (%)
2PostgreSQL17.32 (%)
3Oracle Database12.32 (%)
4Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)5.17 (%)
35 more rows

Which database is best for beginners? ›

Microsoft SQL Server is used as the fundamental tool in universities for Web applications and software. SQLite, a powerful Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), is also very easy to learn and to practice simple queries.

How do I get a list of databases? ›

To view a list of databases on an instance of SQL Server
  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the SQL Server Database Engine, and then expand that instance.
  2. To see a list of all databases on the instance, expand Databases.
Mar 3, 2023

How do I find a good database? ›

To find a good database for your research topic:

If you aren't sure what subject to choose, look for the academic department that your class is in. Once you've chosen a subject, start your search by using one of the recommended databases that are listed at the top of the list.

What can I use as a database for Android app? ›

Android comes in with built in SQLite database implementation.

What is a popular database management application? ›

#1) SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer. #2) DbVisualizer. #3) ManageEngine Applications Manager. #4) Oracle RDBMS. #5) IBM DB2.

What is the fastest database app? ›

MySQL is the fastest SQL relational database. It is one of the fastest among relational databases. However, the database with the best performance cannot be compared and determined evenly. Database speed is highly dependent on many factors such as application, data size, hardware, network speed, and other factors.

What database does Netflix use? ›

First they got on AWS. Then, in 2014, they adopted (and popularized!) Cassandra to support their need for global replication. In this two-part presentation, Shengwei Wang and Shahar Zimmerman (both Senior Software Engineers), explain why Netflix has adopted CockroachDB and how they're deploying it.

What are the five 5 different types of database structures? ›

The network Model, entity-relationship Model, hierarchical Model, object-oriented Model, and object Model are some of the different types of Database Models.

What are the five 5 components of a database system? ›

The five major components of a database are hardware, software, data, procedure, and database access language.

What are examples of databases? ›

MySQL, SQL Server, MongoDB, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, Informix, Sybase, etc. are all examples of different databases.

What is mobile database application? ›

Mobile databases make data from database applications available to mobile users, and they support applications that involve data processing. In general, a mobile database enables a connection between computing devices across a wireless mobile network.

What are types of databases? ›

There are four kinds of this database: document databases, key-value stores, column-oriented databases, and graph databases.

What is the database of the year 2022? ›

Snowflake 2022

What is the most used database in 2023? ›

As of February 2023, the most popular database management system (DBMS) in the world was Oracle, with a ranking score of 1247.52; MySQL and Microsoft SQL server rounded out the top three.

Is SQL still relevant 2022? ›

Is learning SQL worth it in 2022? Learning SQL is totally worth every penny. It is an important skill to have because many companies are now fully dependent on data and nowadays data is money for sure, so to store and manage the data you need some database, and SQL comes in handy.


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