Databases are a primary requirements for our applications, projects and other things. We're at a point where simple excel sheets are not enough these days. We need data sync, api access, remote triggers, rich content support and lot's of other things.
So, here's a detailed and hand curated list of all tabular databases and some experimental alternatives at the end (which you do not want to miss out on).
We've all heard of airtable by now, it's making a lot of buzz in the nocode world lately, because it is that good. It checks all the boxes mentioned above. Airtable has a generous free tier which let's you access almost every feature from their stack, they even have a paid plan for pro users for automations, apps etc.
- Extremely simple and easy to get started with, people who arent very teach savvy can easily use this
- Rich API support, airtable also gives you an official airtable sdk to get started with.
- Forms - You can create forms out of your tables, which are easily sharable with a link.
- Complex querying and formulae support
- People familiar with excel will love this.
- Permissions and roles - give access to people.
Microsoft used to dominate the spreadsheet world, Google introduced Sheets to counter exactly this and produced an excellent tool which is free for everyone. Google leveraged it's tight integration with its hundreds of services making this powerful beyond imagination. People really underestimate what Google sheets can do. Here's what we mean
- API access - Google gives us a sheets sdk allowing us to programatically use every single feature.
- App Script - You can basically write scripts for your spreadsheets, you can do anything, including making HTTP request by sending the sheet data, run CRON jobs or even execute them manually with just a click of a button.
- Embed Charts - You can even create Charts from your data and Google sheets gives you a link to embed charts from the data.
- Advanced features like Google Translate, Image Imports built right into it.
- Can be published to the web worldwide.
A Backend as a Service from none other Google, firebase is like a boon for many indie and small developers, it has a very opinionated set of features which you likely need to build a app or website. One of the most popular feature is Firestore, it lets you store data in the form of collections and documents similar to MongoDB and other NoSQL Databases.
- Firestore has advanced querying features similar to traditional SQL databases.
- Serverless compatibility - Firebase provides an excellent SDK for web as well as Android and IOS and it also exposes all features via a REST api.
- Offline mode - Firebase has an Offline mode which helps you sync data when the device connects to Internet.
- Firebase rules provide a built in security system, which let's users access their data only if in logged in state.
Supabase is a Open source firebase alternative backend by some amazing organizations like YC and Mozilla. You can either self host Supabase or use their cloud service to get started. Supabase gives you a Postgres database ready in under a minute.
- Postgres DB - You can even import your existing databases in Supabase
- Built in Auth - Integrated with JWT authentication which controls exactly what your users can access.
- Realtime Database - Exposes a Websocket endpoint, which let's you make realtime applications.
- Easy to use dashboard - Supabase let's you use a GUI table editor as well as the good old SQL editor.
- CRUD Apis - Create, Read, Update, Delete apis ready to use as soon as you make your database.
Fauna is a new database as a service which works really well with serverless applications. Fauna has a generous free tier that let's you make applications easily, it has it's own querying language called FQL and also acid transactions. It let's you make you make you own data models and create API's out of it.
- Flexible data modeling - An innovative indexed-document data model lets you model any data that your business needs -- relations, documents, graphs or a combination.
- Global ACID transactions - Eliminate data anomalies with strictly serializable multi-region transactions that don't limit number of keys, documents or partitions.
- Real-time streaming - Simplify event-driven use cases with push-based document subscriptions that trigger upon changes to your data in real-time.
- Custom business logic - Express complex conditional business logic as atomic functions that execute close to the data in one transaction and a single round-trip.
- Web-native secure access - Attribute-based access control combines with SSL and 3rd party auth to offer strong security, and can be invoked directly from the browser
- Setup-free GraphQL - Federate with 3rd party middleware using the native GraphQL support, complete with transactions, custom logic, and access control.
- No database operations - With built-in smarts for data partitioning and an API approach, say goodbye to data sharding, clustering, replication, upgrades etc, forever.
Some other database alternatives to above ones.
Cloudflare Workers KV provides access to a secure low latency key-value store at all of the data centers in Cloudflare's global network. Developers can use Cloudflare Workers and Workers KV to augment existing applications or to build entirely new applications on top of Cloudflare's global cloud network. Workers KV scales seamlessly to support applications serving dozens or millions of users.
Cloudflare KV gives you Up to 100,000 - Key-value reads per day with 1GB of storage in their free tier. They also have a paid plan with more features and increased limits.
Upstash is a Redis database as a service that let's you store Key Value data pairs with 10,000 api requests every day in their free tier. Upstash also gives you access to their redis database via GraphQL Apis.
This is it
I hope you liked this article. Help us write better by giving your feedback on our twitter channel at @nocodeapi.
Thank you for reading. Happy Coding !! ✌️