Types Of Databases

You may have heard about different types of databases available in the market. Some are known and others still remain strange. In this article, we will discuss the different types of databases available and we will pick the most popular one to go with, for our future discussions.

What are the different types of databases?

Here are the most common types of databases:

  • Flat File
  • Hierarchical database
  • Network database
  • Relational database

Flat File:

In Flat file types of databases, the data is stored in “Files”. These are the actual files, for example, excel sheet. The main problem with flat files is that only one user may access the flat file at any point of time. The data is not linked and there is a huge risk of data repetition across the file.

Hierarchical database:

In short, Hierarchical databases are a series of databases that are mapped together. There is a parent database and all the other databases originate from this parent database and the communication between the parent and child databases takes place from parent to child only i.e. in just one way and not from child to parent.

Network database:

Network database solves the problem of lack of communication from child databases to the parent database. The main problem with this approach is the huge amount of time and network latency involved in the communication problem over the network.

Relational database:

Relational databases are by far the most popular database in the market today. They solve the problems posed by the earlier types of databases and also accomplish much more in the process. Relational databases use a language called Structured Query Language or SQL for short in order to communicate with the database.

Here are the examples of relational databases. You may have already heard of some of them, if not all:

  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • SQLite
  • Oracle
  • NoSQL

PostgresSQL is an open source relational database management system.

MySQL is the most popular and widely used relational database management system. Moving further, all our discussion would be on MySQL.

SQLite is the lite version or the subset version of MySQL. It contains the minimal features when compared to MySQL. It is not intended to be a replacement for MySQL as it achieves only a portion of what MySQL can do for you.

Oracle databases are relational from Oracle that are available commercially.

NoSQL databases do not store data in rows and columns, just like the other databases. Rather they store the data in huge chunks or documents. Their concept is different from MySQL, so discussing NoSQL is out of the scope of this article.


From all the types of available databases, we find the MySQL relational database to be widely available, immensely popular and freely available database. It solves many problems that other previous databases posed and moving forward, our focus would be on discussing MySQL relational databases.

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