What database to choose for your project: TopDevs point of view

TopDevs Inc.
6 min readFeb 16, 2022


Choosing a database for your project is an important part of the entire development process. The database must fully meet your needs, and its cluster must withstand the load of incoming requests. How to choose the best one and what criteria to consider — read in this article.

We will consider the three main databases which we use in our company, and we can guarantee the deep expertise. We are talking about Mongo, MySQL and Redis. Due to their simplicity and versatility, they are not limited to projects for application and can certainly be useful to you.

What are databases and their types?

A database is a systematic collection of data that can be managed. Data can be very different, and depending on the type of database, they are stored in different ways. Manipulation of which is performed in accordance with the rules of data modeling tools.

Here are some of the main types of databases.

  • Relational databases. Here the data is stored in the form of tables, with rows and columns. Thanks to this organization, the data here is obtained quickly.
  • Object-oriented databases. Information is an object with parameters that describe how to apply it.
  • Distributed databases. The base consists of several parts, located on different servers and even computers.
  • Data warehouses. This is a central repository-storage, which is focused on the rapid execution of queries and analysis.
  • NoSQL databases. Non-relational databases for storing and processing semi-structured or unstructured data.
  • Graph databases. Here, data is stored in the context of entities and relationships between entities.
  • OLTP databases. This database is designed to perform business transactions that are performed by many users.

How to indicate proper DB for your goals?

The main concern when choosing a database is to choose one that can guarantee the correct structure, size, and/or processing speed for your application. Let’s take a closer look at these categories.

Structure. This setting controls how data is stored and retrieved. In the future, errors in structuring can affect the scaling of the project.

The size. This is a parameter that determines the amount of data to be stored and retrieved. The structure and ability of the database to distribute data across multiple servers also matters here.

Speed ​​and scale. Some databases are good at optimizing applications, others are write-intensive. You must understand whether you can do data modeling, and only then decide on a choice.

TopDevs’ top-3 databases

We decided to talk about three databases that we actively use in our work. We are talking about MongoDB, Redis and MySQL.


MongoDB is a document based database and is the best example of NoSQL systems. Mongo uses JSON-like documents and a DB schema. The database itself is written in C++, and is often used as part of the JavaScript-oriented MEAN stack.

Developers position the product as an intermediate link between classic DBMS and NoSQL. While relational databases use strings, MongoDB uses documents that store values ​​and keys.

MongoDB has a number of qualities that make this database stand out from its peers.

Consider them:

· MongoDB works great with all operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc.) due to being written in C++.

· Data in MongoDB is stored using the Binary JavaScript Object Notation (BSON) storage format.

· Thanks to replication, MongoDB can replace master nodes with secondary nodes in the event of a failure. It is the nodes that represent the scheme for storing information in this type of database.

· Indexing is used here, and indexed information is processed faster.

· To store data with a large size, the proprietary GridFS technology (files and chunks) is used with names / data and information segments.

· The load balancer is used here not only to handle the load, but also to scale out to improve performance.

· Databases located on different nodes are synchronized with each other, which ensures integrity.

· MongoDB has a cloud solution available.

Applications for MongoDB:

· e-commerce;

· games;

· monitoring data, sensors;

· mobile applications;

· storage of operational data of web pages.


Redis is a self-hosted database management system. It is an open source NoSQL database. Works with data structures of the “key — value” type. It can be used to implement cache and message brokers.

Based on the C language, access interfaces work with most major programming languages.

Consider the main features of Redis:

· Redis allows you to store not only strings, but also arrays and sets sorted by a given value.

· Here you can specify the data lifetime, while by default all data is stored forever.

· Redis — allows you to run one Redis process per processor core, thanks to a single-threaded server.

· Replication is supported here, while writing is possible on replicas.

· There is support for transaction and batch processing of commands. Sharing is possible.

· There is a publish/subscribe mechanism, thanks to which applications can create something similar to an IRC chat.

· One server can contain several numbered databases (16 by default).

Use cases for Redis:

· to work with the cache;

· to store data about the number of online users, their sessions and profiles, captcha codes, search query sadgests;

· a good solution for small applications or even blogs;

· for storing intermediate results of calculations when working with large amounts of data.


MySQL is a free relational database management system. This is a great solution for small to medium applications. MySQL supports a large number of table types: single-record-level transactions, full-text searches, and so on. And thanks to its open architecture, MySQL is constantly being updated with new types of tables.

Consider the main features of MySQL that are valued in development:

· MySQL has a high data processing speed, since its main purpose is to work with large data arrays.

· MySQL is a free and versatile platform with high integration and support. You can transfer the database to any other modern DBMS that supports the structured query language.

· MySQL is well used as part of other platforms such as CMS, WordPress, Joomla.

· MySQL is the best solution for working with PHP, most sites work on the basis of this tandem.

· The role assignment system allows you to set an access hierarchy not only at the server level, but also at the level of individual tables.

· The ability to hash passwords provides a high level of data security. But recovering the root password is extremely difficult.

So, the main MySQL use cases:

· to work with corporate systems, ERP/CRM applications;

· to ensure the operation of websites and CMS;

· for groupware type systems, which can be either part of the CMS or standalone products;

· to ensure the operation of forums and chats.

Final words

Thus, the correct choice of a database system determines how quickly your application and / or site will work and respond to user actions. You can change the database after the application has been released, but this is a time consuming and expensive process.

Our team selected the three most popular and universal databases for project development. In addition to reliability and security, they do not limit the developer in the implementation of certain product functions, allowing them to achieve efficient work without bugs and reduce the level of user experience.



TopDevs Inc.

Web & mobile app development company that creates digital solutions for startups & businesses (native iOS, Android apps, outstaffing, outsourcing) @ topdevs.org