Relational database management systems (RDMS) are very popular in the web hosting world. While non-relational databases, often called NoSQL, may be gaining popularity, most small, medium and even still some large websites rely on SQL technology. This is just a brief intro to the various brands of SQL out there.
MySQL – One of the older versions on the market, MySQL is both free and open source as well as commercial. It has gone through the hands of more than one vendor, including Sun Microsystems and now Oracle.
MariaDB – After Oracle purchased Sun, the original MySQL creator made MariaDB as a fork of the original project. It is open source and managed by the MariaDB Foundation.
PostgreSQL – An object-relational database management system, PostgreSQL is one of, if not the oldest. Like the others, it is free and open source. It is also known to work on a variety of platforms, including Windows.
SQLite – Unlike the others on the list, SQLite does not require a database server. Instead, it is embedded, allowing it to run with very little software. It is only 658 KiB, and is released to the public domain with no software license.
MSSQL – Completely proprietary and commercial, Microsoft SQL Server is the company’s answer to its open source competitors. Designed specifically for Windows Server, it supports Microsoft’s business applications, its cloud infrastructure and even web server offerings.
The database system you choose depends entirely on your licensing requirements and the type of work you want to do. The best choice for you may not work at all for others.