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Database development

Software and web development are inextricably linked to database development. Because wherever software works, data is created. This data must be stored and managed in a structured way – and this is exactly where database development comes into play.

What is database development?

Database development is the process of planning, creating and maintaining databases. It includes the analysis of data requirements, the selection of the right database technology, the implementation of the database and the continuous optimization of performance.

Data is ubiquitous and is generated in all areas of a company, from customer management to product development and accounting. But unorganized and disorganized, it is worthless. Like a huge pile of building blocks, without a blueprint, without a system.

An orderly development process creates order: data becomes usable and valuable for the company and corresponding systems are developed and used in line with requirements.

What are the different database models?

Differences in database systems mean different architecture, range of functions and areas of application.

Relational databases

Are the most widespread type of database. They store data in tables that are linked to each other by relationships. They are ideal for structured data that can be mapped in a relational model.

Examples of relational database systems are MySQL and PostgreSQL.

NoSQL databases, document databases

Were developed for the storage and management of unstructured data. They are also called document databases because their storage principle is based on individual files or objects. NoSQL databases are ideal for large amounts of data that cannot be mapped in a relational model, but also for the caching of data.

Examples of NoSQL databases are MongoD, Elasticsearch and Redis.

Blockchain: decentralized databases

Are a new type of database based on blockchain technology. This is a decentralized, distributed database that records transactions in an immutable ledger.

What is a DBMS (database management system)?

A DBMS is used when data needs to be stored, organized and used. Such software performs tasks such as

  • Storage and organization of data
  • Access control: Only authorized users may view and change data.
  • Data security: Protection of data against unauthorized access, loss and damage.
  • Performance: Retrieve and process data quickly and efficiently.
  • Maintenance: Data backup, recovery and indexing.

How is a database created?

Each use case is considered individually from the outset. This is because database systems cannot be used across the board. So if you were to say that you would use MySQL for every application, then you would be starting database development off on the wrong foot.

The process should therefore consist of the following six phases:

1. requirements analysis: defining the data to be stored, the user groups and the access authorizations. In addition, the future area of application must be examined with regard to scaling and utilization in order to make a well-founded decision for a specific system.

2. design: In this phase, the architecture of the database is designed. This includes selecting the database technology, defining the tables and columns and determining the relationships between the tables.

3. implementation: Creation of the database system and migration of any existing data. This includes the installation of the database software, the configuration of the database and the implementation of data access.

4. testing: Testing for errors and performance problems. If necessary, penetration and load tests are also carried out.

5. commissioning: the database is released for users or developers.

6. optimization: Performance, security and scalability are ensured and adjusted if necessary by monitoring during operation.

Case studies: Web databases in use

A new Instagram post, an order on Amazon or an online bank transfer from your bank all have one thing in common: data storage. However, the underlying systems are different, as they have to meet a wide range of requirements.

Social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook use NoSQL databases to (temporarily) store large amounts of data from users and posts. The flexibility of document-based databases enables platform developers to implement new functions quickly and easily.

Online stores and platforms such as Amazon use cloud databases to store product information, customer data and orders. The scalability of cloud databases enables stores to deal with seasonal peaks in demand.

Banks use databases to store customer data, account information and transactions. Securing these is an important factor here in order to protect customer data from attackers.

The advantages of professional database development

Comprehensive software and industry-specific requirements make an extensive development process necessary. But what are the specific benefits?

  • Quality assurance: Professional database developers have the necessary know-how to develop high-quality databases that fit perfectly.
  • Efficiency: Experienced professionals can reduce the time required through their routine and thus work efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Security: This is the top priority and is part of the basic equipment of a good database developer. He also knows & implements industry-specific requirements.
  • Future-proof: Development with foresight means that your database will continue to adapt to growing requirements in the future.

Indiscriminate use of database systems can cost companies in the course of development. For professionals such as web app agencies, database development is therefore an essential process in the (further) development of digital products and applications.

Conclusion

The professional development of databases is a complex process, no question about it. However, the enormous advantages for companies outweigh this.

With a careful approach and planning, a solid basic framework for applications can be created that no longer needs to be (laboriously) redesigned later. Of course, this presupposes that all requirements and needs are placed on a database system from the outset.

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