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Free PC database server

This is kind of a pointless question, but I'm curious if anyone has any opinions on what's a good small-scale, free SQL server for a PC running Windows 2000.  I'm not looking for anything to handle more than one connection at a time, it's mostly (in theory) so I can turn FTP off and snag data instead of constantly transferring text files to my Linux box.  Again, this is a bit pointless, since I know that I can get MySQL and/or MSDE running, or even use Jet to feed out XML pages via the web.

Mostly I'm looking for opinions.  As always, thanks.

Andrew Burton
Monday, August 18, 2003 is pretty nice... I'd trust it more than MySQL anyday.  Apparently so would MySQL, since they've licensed the technology/software in their upcoming MaxDB product...

Monday, August 18, 2003

MySQL is extremely reliable, fast, and easy to set up on both Windows and Linux. I would trust my data to it any day!

MySQL is not Oracle, but it still has lots of stuff.

SAP DB is a very old database. The source code seems to have a lot of warts.

PostgreSQL doesn't run on Windows, but is said to have advanced features like Oracle.

So.. in my opinion, if you want something reliable and fast, go with MySQL.

John Woo
Monday, August 18, 2003

Why not use MSDE? 

Eric Budd
Monday, August 18, 2003

You could also take a look at FireBird (open-source version of Borland's Interbase) and SQLite (server-less, single-DLL-based program.) Provided you don't need SQL, you could also look at hashing solutions like Sleepycat's BerkeleyDB, Tsunami, etc.

Frederic Faure
Monday, August 18, 2003

MySQL is super-easy to use and administer, and also very fast, but it is missing triggers, stored procedures, and subqueries. 

Postgres is slow and also difficult to run on windows, and has no decent windows-based clients; I would advise against it.

Colin Evans
Monday, August 18, 2003

MSDE is a very complete package, with a nice scale up solution should you ever need it.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, August 18, 2003

PostgreSQL is hardly slow...

Monday, August 18, 2003

PostgreSQL also has a decent Windows client called pgAdmin.  Here are some screenshots with descriptions:

Monday, August 18, 2003

Thanks for the links, advice, and words of wisdom.  I'll check those out.  Thanks!

Andrew Burton
Monday, August 18, 2003

You can run INNOB with MySQL to allow "Transactions, row level locking, hot backup, and foreign keys for MySQL - without compromising the speed of MySQL" - if you need enterprise type RDBMS.

MySQL recently received a large investment - they have a good road map that will take them to offer more enterprise type features. Hopefully they will succeed in this venture.

SAPdb was given to MySQL by SAP - not sure why. But the MySQL folks have rebrabded it and MAXDB.

Ram Dass
Monday, August 18, 2003

John Woo - I'd vigorously disagree with choosing MySQL over sapdb for reliability, and really any other metric other than ease of use.  I've used both and I know how much safer I feel with sapdb, and I've got subqueries, proper backup, proper database management, and the knowledge that sap runs on sapdb.

For this case I'd recommend MSDE though =)

Monday, August 18, 2003

I've used mySQL quite a bit and have developed a love/hate relationship with it.

mySQL is fabulous in many respects. For instance: the seamless integration with Apache and PHP;
the superb remote administration tool (phpmyAdmin);
some nice SQL extensions (eg LIMIT is a convenient way to look at subsets in your SELECT statements).

However, I've had some problems. For instance: I've experienced four table corruptions in the last six months on my particular installation on windows 2000 (there may well be a proper explanation for this, but I haven't found it yet);
the lack of stored procedures is very inconvenient, and I end up duplicating code across the different environments that access the database (java,php);
the tables seem to grow ridiculously in size, requiring daily TABLE OPTIMIZE's to prevent ballooning tables (again, there may be a solution to this, but I haven't yet found it);
INSERT's aren't as fast as I'd like them to be.

Chris Welsh
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

"PostgreSQL doesn't run on Windows"

Yes, it does (through Cygwin)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Who is going to run a Cygwin based database server for production use?  For development purposes, sure.  No way it's going to cut it for production use...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Whilst it seems that your application is intended to be single user, it seems a little short-sighted to lock yourself into this model.

Even if only for your personal use, you may find that you have a future need for other database applications, and would benefit from a multi-user model.

Should you make the initial choice of a DBMS with limited features/connectivity, make sure you protect your future by using an ODBC interface. That means you can (mostly) move your application to a more competent environment with little effort.

I've had great success with Sybase's Adaptive Server Anywhere (is that still its name?), and modest success with Interbase/IBPhoenix, for small- to medium-scale applications. In fact, until they went down the hey-look-we've-got-Java-too path, I used to think Sybase ASA was one of the best DBMS' in the market.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

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