Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What database system do you enjoy working with from a programming perspective (not as a database administrator)?

share|improve this question
This question was posted before we tightened the rules on what was on topic and constructive. –  ChrisF Apr 19 '11 at 10:52
add comment

closed as not constructive by ChrisF Apr 19 '11 at 10:52

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

9 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted


I've grown to really like SQLite. Its become my go-to standard for storage in my desktop applications. Its easy to implement, fast, stable, and supports the SQL features I need it to support. Whats not to love?

For servers, probably MySQL. Mainly because its not let me down in the past. I'd like to try Mongo at some point, but I dont have any projects planned right now for which I think it'd be appropriate.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Microsoft SQL Server

I'm mostly always in Visual Studio when developing, and SQL Server Management Tools and the integrations in Visual Studio to get my bearings are just plain fast.

share|improve this answer
add comment

My ORM tells me I like most of them. :-)

In reality I do not really have a preference myself, my database is usually dictated by some other subset of the project that I have no control over so I usually just live with what I have. Which is why I end up with an ORM in place because the DB choice is beyond me and it makes it easy for me to continue developing and switch as they keep change their minds.

However, if I had a preference I would say MySQL because it is open source.

share|improve this answer
LOL @ "My orm tells me I like most of them." +1 –  Steve Evers Sep 25 '10 at 22:02
-1 for recommending MySQL "for no particular reason" - flat file could also be recommended for no reason, following this logic.. –  Jas Oct 22 '10 at 23:59
@Jas: Its open source and thats enough of a reason for me. –  Chris Oct 23 '10 at 12:18
@Chris - Where is open source mentioned in your answer? I only see this explanation : " (for no particular reason)." . You shouldn't try to justify this, it only sounds worse :) –  Jas Oct 23 '10 at 13:07
@Jas: Satisfied ? –  Chris Oct 23 '10 at 13:11
show 2 more comments

No one mentioned


yet, so I figure I should. Because it's open source and not even indirectly owned by Oracle, because it's featureful and because it has excellent CL integration through postmodern (which is, IMO, better than using cl-sql or cl-mysql on top of MySQL).

share|improve this answer
+1 because it has PostGIS as well. –  wheaties Oct 23 '10 at 15:18
Indeed, PostgreSQL is the most advanced open source RDBMS. –  Chiron Apr 17 '11 at 22:48
add comment


I love MongoDB's fast, simplistic setup and query syntax. I find it much more flexible to work with then any RDBMS. I even backed my blog with it for storage.

Have to make schema changes? You don't have to touch a thing, just plug them in and go. Embedded objects, arrays, sorting, Map / Reduce functionality. All fast and easy to understand.

I know there is a place for RDBM systems, however for prototyping an application Mongo rocks, specifically because there is no setup, no issues with schema, and no conflicts when changing things on the fly. I'll often lay out a system over Mongo and then migrate to MySQL or Oracle when the schema is solid and the client has decided to stop sending improvement tickets.

share|improve this answer
Thats a great new find for me. Thank you very much for introducing me to this tasty little db. Havent tried it fully , but a quick play with the DB suggested that its worth exploring further. –  mumtaz Oct 7 '10 at 12:20
I might just try this out in my next project... –  Inaimathi Oct 23 '10 at 15:31
Ok, yeah, it's sweet in practice. +1 –  Inaimathi Oct 26 '10 at 16:32
add comment

Not sure what you mean by database manager -- if you mean RDBMS, I'd say MSSQL -- too many of the T-SQL additions are useful.

If you mean things that actually "manage" the database, I'd have to say LINQ.

share|improve this answer
+1 for the T-SQL additions –  Rachel Oct 6 '10 at 15:56
@downvoter: Please leave a freaking COMMENT!!!! –  Billy ONeal Oct 24 '10 at 17:35
add comment

I've been using Sybase's SQL Anywhere since 1994 (back when it was owned by Watcom before it was bought by Powersoft. And before Powersoft was bought by Sybase).

We actually OEM the database within two commerical products. The product can be scaled all the way from the large enterprise down to the iPhone, iPad and multitudes of other mobile devices.

Hands down it's one of the best database's on the market. Their fully blown out developer version is free, and if you are running a web app, your deployment costs are zero.

I highly recommend checking it out!

share|improve this answer
add comment

Valentina DB is awesome because its an affordable, extremely fast columnar database and available for not only the big dev environments like .net, but also developing for Mac, iPhone, environments like LiveCode, Director and other RAD environments.

share|improve this answer
I never heard about Valentina DB, thanks for mentioning it. –  Chiron Apr 17 '11 at 22:50
add comment

SQL Management Studio / Express.

Seems to do pretty much what I need programming wise. There was a really good plugin that one of my previous employers had a license for which added intellisense to SQL. Cant for the life of me remember what it was called? but was really handy.

Think it was called something like SQLPrompt.

share|improve this answer
So if you are using SQL Server 2008 DBs you actually get intelliSense? sweet!! our DBs are 2005 atm. but upgrading shortly. (I know its a bit late but, its to do with licensing and the fact our live servers are dual processor not dual core) –  DazManCat Jul 1 '11 at 15:46
add comment