Web database software – a.k.a. online databases – are becoming more popular with the expansion of cloud-based computing, in which a minimum of information is stored on a computer and the rest is stored “ethereally”. Cloud-based data can be retrieved from anywhere, rather than stored on a laptop, a home computer or an office-based server with all the accompanying difficulties of data storage, security and permission-based retrieval.
The key advantage of web database software is accessibility.
In a computer-based system, a user has to log in to a private network, which often takes a long time and is susceptible to bad connections and file corruptions, among other problems.
Web database software stores data on internet-accessible servers, so users can retrieve and manipulate the data from virtually any device, anywhere in the world! Users may not even need computers to access online databases – most devices with browsing capabilities including smart-phones will work. You can also use security capabilities to allow users as much or as little access to the database as you like. Most of this software is encrypted using industry-standard SSL protection and is backed up 24×7 for added peace of mind.
Another advantage of web database software is memory. In a computer-based system, you are constrained by the physical memory of the host computer or server system. Using web database software and storage can provide you with potentially infinite storage.
Several companies are taking the successful framework of existing software databases as the basis for cloud database offerings. These new web database software products let you create a new online database from scratch, by importing your existing spreadsheet files or database files such as Microsoft Access, or by customizing a pre-built application. They also offer familiar interfaces and tools for users with database and spreadsheet experience, to make it easy to create online forms and reports for remote users to manage their data.
This type of online database is also evolving in non-traditional ways. Google, the recognized leader of online software development and creators of Google Spreadsheets, is working to address the issue of importing and incorporating into a Google online database relevant Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, blog entries, video feeds and other real-time data.
Web database software is quickly expanding the traditional definition of a database as multiple companies continue to push the boundaries with new innovations. Correctly adapting to web database software is simply the next stage of any company’s online evolution.