A database server is an application used to store data in an organized way using fields and columns; essentially a database server can be used for the hosting of multiple databases. There are different database servers available for different purposes with SQL databases being better suited to businesses that require a scalable database system that can cope well under high loads. Desktop database applications on the other hand should be used more for general data keeping; however, in some situations databases that have been created in this way can be used as the database backends for websites when used in conjunction with specific web scripting languages.
Database server hosting is an integral part of any web hosting service and even the most basic of shared web hosting packages will come with the ability to host some type of database. A basic Linux shared web hosting package will allow you to host at least one MySQL database whilst most Windows shared web hosting packages will allow for the hosting of Microsoft Access databases at a minimum. When it comes to using VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting you will be provided with a variety of database servers to choose from that you can then install and configure as you see fit.
Microsoft SQL Server is the SQL database server created by Microsoft for use on Windows servers only and is used by larger businesses to help manage their internal database structure. As it is a commercial application you will be required to pay for Microsoft SQL Server, although there is an Express edition available for free. Microsoft SQL Server is able to provide users with a highly scalable database application that is capable of handling high loads with ease. Microsoft SQL Server can be deployed in a clustered environment, a feature that will benefit businesses that are looking to achieve the highest level of uptime possible from their database systems since reliability is key. If you are looking into developing web applications around Microsoft SQL Server databases then classic ASP and ASP.NET are the two scripting languages that you will want to consider as Microsoft SQL Server databases can be integrated into websites using either with ease.
MySQL Server is an open source SQL database server that is available for both Windows and Linux web hosting servers. As MySQL Server is an open source database server, you won’t have to pay a penny to use it whereas you will have to purchase a license for Microsoft SQL Server if you don’t use the Express edition. PHP is seen as the best accompaniment to MySQL databases as both can be seamlessly integrated to provide you with a dynamic website that will be able to perform a wide variety of functions based around your MySQL database. The management of MySQL databases is an easy task since there are many free desktop database management applications available, although one of the most popular ways to manage MySQL databases is to use the PHPMyAdmin application that is part of most web hosting control panels.
Desktop database applications are designed more for use by those who wish to do very basic data organization as the features provided are better suited for the desktop environment whilst the scalability of such applications is always questionable. Microsoft Access is probably the best known desktop database application available as it is part of the hugely popular Microsoft Office suite; although Microsoft Access databases can be used for a variety of uses on the desktop, like Microsoft SQL Server databases they can also be integrated into classic ASP and ASP.NET based websites. This will allow you to create small but dynamic websites.
In conclusion, when choosing a database server application for use in any environment you ought to first consider the web hosting platform that you are going to use. From there you can then consider the type of database system you would like to use – a fully-fledged database server or a simple desktop database application. It is important for you to make sure that you choose a database application that you will be able to manage properly to help ensure that your website runs smoothly; similarly you should also choose one that can provide you with the performance and reliability that you require.