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With so many choices available, choosing the right database system for your application can appear to be a daunting task. Should you pay a premium price for a commercial Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), or use a "free" database?. The short answer is it depends on many factors. If your organization already has a number of systems from a particular supplier in place, then it makes sense to use either that manufacturer's database solution, or something that is guaranteed to work in your environment. If you are starting from scratch, then your choices are more varied. If your budget is low, there are excellent open-source systems available for a minimal charge, or sometimes free.

Choosing the right database for your application can be a critical step in the success of your application, not only in terms of the performance of the application, but in it's "scalability" and future maintenance costs. For high-performance and high-load mission-critical applications you need a durable system with redundancy and failure protection built in. For applications where failure tolerance is higher you can give up some of the protection offered by the premium products and use an open-source solution.

No matter what system you choose, a sound database design ensures efficient storage of your data. A properly designed database will allow easy future migration to a larger or smaller system, inter-operability with a variety of import/export and reporting tools, and extend the life and usefulness of your data.

We have experience with a variety of database systems. For RDBMS SQL solutions we prefer Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Embarcadero Interbase, or the open-source version Firebird; and mySQL; for file-based database work we use Access or Paradox; and for embedded databases we use either DBISAM or a custom record-based solution. No matter what the size of application we are building we can choose, size and design the best database for a variety of needs.

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