Have you ever wondered what is one of the most challenging tasks for mobile app developers? Well, it is to be able to choose the right app database. The mobile app market is full of a myriad of options and that’s what makes it critical for developers to choose the right app database. Without the right database, it would be difficult to develop and update the mobile app.

In general, databases are places that are used for storing data that can be retrieved later. A database also plays an important role in managing the data stored and helps to get rid of security issues.

Therefore, let’s look at what app databases are and how to choose the right mobile app database for building your mobile app.

What are app databases?

Data is stored as rows and columns in databases. Databases are collections of structured information kept in an organized manner as per the requirements of the application. Databases are modified, managed, and updated with the help of database management systems (DBMS). Databases are electronically stored on a PC and most developers take the help of the Structured Query Language to structure app databases.

Advantages of using a mobile app database

A mobile app database offers various benefits:

  • Helps to manage massive amounts of data.
  • App databases provide high data security.
  • DBMS offers DML, which is known as Data Manipulation Languages. This helps to update the app database easily.
  • Data Query Languages helps to search through app databases quickly.
  • App databases reduce data management costs.
  • DBMS is highly dependable and reduces errors and improves data consistency.

Popular mobile app databases in 2021

Some of the most popular databases used by Android & iOS app developers in 2021 for Mobile Apps are:

MySQL: MySQL is an open-source, multi-threaded SQL database.

PostgreSQL: Written in C language, PostgreSQL is an open-source, object-based, relational database.

SQLite: It is an embedded database used to provide local data storage ability to mobile apps.

MariaDB: This is another open-source relational database.

MongoDB: It is a document-oriented database that uses JSON and is known to offer a lot of flexibility.

Cassandra: This is a NoSQL database that can handle a large amount of unstructured data.

Realm DB: Realm DB is a relational DBMS that works like a conventional database storing data efficiently.

Types of mobile app databases

There are different types of databases for mobile apps that have been elaborated further to understand what type of database you should go with as per your requirement.

Centralized Database – A centralized database stores, locates, and maintains data in one location on a central computer.

Distributed Database – A distributed database consists of a sum of the data stored in common databases along with the information stored on each device.

Cloud Database – This database stores data in the cloud that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime.

Commercial Database – Enterprise-based database apps which are used to store employee information rely on such commercial databases.

End-User Database – Apps that deal with end-user data store such information in the end-user database.

NoSQL Database – This database functions differently compared to all other databases. It has a flexible schema that allows it to store data in numerous shapes and sizes instead of rows and columns.

Relational DatabaseApps that are constantly using relational data need relational databases.

How to choose the right app database?

Different mobile apps might have different kinds of requirements. Hence it becomes crucial for the developer to choose the right kind of database for the app for its optimal function.

Below are some of the factors to consider that can serve as a guide as to which database a developer should choose.

Data Structure

The data structure refers to how data has to be stored and retrieved. There are several data formats for mobile apps and hence picking the database as per the data structure is essential.

If your app is to mainly function online, then data can be stored on servers and cloud whereas if it has to function offline, then data can be stored on the smartphone.

Data Size

If you are already aware that the app you are developing has to deal with a large amount of data, then it is recommended to go with a database that can handle huge amounts of data.

The type of data and the data structure affects the amount of data that a database can handle efficiently. Different databases offer a different capacity of data storage, so considering the limitations of every database is essential before deciding to go with one particular database. Overall, if the database has to deal with large amounts of data from different locations, then you can go with multiple databases.

Data Modelling

Data Modelling is the representation of the data structures that would be stored in the databases. Data Modelling is useful where the app has to offer a search function, location-based features, etc. Such apps can use multiple databases to support the wide array of features and handle data sizes from different locations.

Data Security

Mobile app databases are responsible for storing huge amounts of sensitive data. Databases are often susceptible to malware attacks. Therefore, security is another crucial point that needs to be considered when choosing a database. A database that offers an integrated authentication system and the use of third-party security service providers is the best choice to go with.

Speed & Scalability

When it comes to the speed and scalability of a database, then, on one hand, some databases would be capable of supporting read-heavy apps, whereas, on the other hand, some apps would be ready to support write-heavy solutions.

So, choosing a database that can optimize both reads and writes functions on your app is needed for apps that have to address such solutions.

Cross-Platform Support

If an app is meant to function on multiple platforms, then choosing a database that supports cross-platform development is essential. Such a database would help make the app scalable, adaptable, and expandable.


So, here is a complete roundabout on how to choose the right mobile app database while developing a new mobile app or while adding new features to an existing app. You can choose a database as per your requirement. The most popular databases in 2021 are MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB, MariaDB, Cassandra, Memcached, etc.