Posted by Fadi Hania on 26th November 2010

20+ Free and Open-Source Database Systems

20+ Free and Open-Source Database Systems

Database based applications are a common type of applications that are widely used, and these applications requires a database system (database engine) to manage their data. There is a plenty of database engines out in the market that are based on RDBMS/SQL or no SQL database engines (like XML/XQuery or Object-Oriented). Some database engines run as a standalone server that communicates with clients through a network interface, some is a file database engine and others are inprocess engines.
This article lists free and/or open-source database systems of type Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS/SQL). It lists database systems that run as a standalone server with a network interface, as embedded or as both. Continue reading for the full list and details.

MySQL Database Server

MySQL Database Server

MySQL is a relational database management system that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases, it is the most popular open-source database that is supported by an active community of open-source developers and enthusiasts.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and other platforms
License: GPL License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

IBM DB2 Express-C

IBM DB2 Express-C

IBM DB2 Express-C is a no-charge community edition of the DB2 data server. It is ideal for small businesses and multi-branch companies, as well as developers and business partners who serve these clients. DB2 Express-C can be setup quickly, is easy-to-use, and includes self-managing capabilities. It also embodies all of the core features of the more scalable DB2 editions, including the revolutionary pureXML technology for powering a new breed of Web 2.0 and SOA based solutions.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris
License: Free (Proprietary License)
Type: Client/Server

Oracle Database 10g Express Edition

Oracle Database 10g Express Edition

Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE) is an entry-level, small-footprint database based on the Oracle Database 10g Release 2 code base that’s free to develop, deploy, and distribute; fast to download; and simple to administer.

Platforms: Windows, Linux
License: Free (Proprietary License)
Type: Client/Server

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express is a free and feature-rich database for desktop, Web, and small server applications. It features a 10GB of database storage and backup/restore ability, with a graphical management tool, reporting capabilities, full-text search and spatial support.

Platforms: Windows
License: Free (Proprietary License)
Type: Client/Server

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system. It has more than 15 years of active development and a proven architecture that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, data integrity, and correctness. It runs on all major operating systems and has native programming interfaces for C/C++, Java, .Net, Perl, Python, Ruby, Tcl, ODBC, and others.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD
License: PostgreSQL licence (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

H2 Database Engine

H2 Database Engine

H2 is an open-source Java SQL database engine with embedded, server and cluster modes. It Supports standard SQL and the JDBC API.

Platforms: Windows, Platform-Independent
License: EPL and modified MPL (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server and Embedded

Firebird Relational Database

Firebird Relational Database

Firebird is a relational database offering many ANSI SQL standard features that runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms. Firebird offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers. It has been used in production systems, under a variety of names, since 1981.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun Solaris
License: IPL and IDPL
Type: Client/Server

Sybase ASE Express Edition for Linux

Sybase ASE Express Edition for Linux

Sybase ASE Express Edition for Linux is the first enterprise-class commercial database that can take you from pilot to deployment for zero dollars and zero risk. You can develop a pilot project on Linux without risk AND without undermining performance or manageability.

Platforms: Linux
License: Proprietary License
Type: Client/Server

HyperSQL Database

HyperSQL Database (HSQLDB)

HSQLDB is a relational database engine written in Java, with a JDBC driver, conforming to ANSI SQL:2008. It is a small, fast, multithreaded engine and server with memory and disk tables, LOBs, transaction isolation, multiversion concurrency and ACID.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
License: BSD License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server and Embedded

SQLite

SQLite

SQLite is an embedded SQL database engine (in-process library) that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. The code for SQLite is in the public domain and is thus free for use for any purpose, commercial or private. SQLite is currently found in more applications than we can count, including several high-profile projects.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
License: Public domain (Open-Source)
Type: Embedded

Apache Derby

Apache Derby

Derby is a full-featured, open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is based on Java technology and SQL. It provides users with a small-footprint standards-based database engine that can be tightly embedded into any Java based solution. Derby ensures data integrity and provides sophisticated transaction support.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD
License: Apache License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server and Embedded

CUBRID

CUBRID

CUBRID is a comprehensive open source relational database management system highly optimized for Web Applications, especially when complex web services process large amount of data and generate huge concurrent requests. By providing unique optimized features, CUBRID enables to process much more parallel requests at much less response time.

Platform: Windows, Linux
License: CUBRID Open-Source License
Type: Client/Server

Oracle Berkeley DB

Oracle Berkeley DB

Oracle Berkeley DB is an open-source embeddable database allowing developers the choice of SQL, Key/Value, XML/XQuery or Java Object storage for their data model. At its core is a fast, scalable, transactional database engine with proven reliability and availability and over a decade of production use. It is available in three editions: Berkeley DB (written in C and supports SQL), Berkeley DB Java Edition (written in Java) and Berkeley DB XML (written in C++ and supports XML data storage and retrieval using XQuery and XPath).

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, Android, iPhone OS and other platforms
License: Free for non-commercial or open-source applications (Open-Source)
Type: Embedded

One$DB

One$DB

One$DB is the open source version of Daffodil DB. It is a robust Java Database and inherits all basics of Daffodil DB such as Platform Independence, Small Footprint, Zero administration and JDBC/ODBC support.

Platform: Java Platform Independent
License: LGPL License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server and Embedded

LucidDB

LucidDB

LucidDB is the first and only open-source RDBMS purpose-built entirely for data warehousing and business intelligence. It is based on architectural cornerstones such as column-store, bitmap indexing, hash join/aggregation, and page-level multiversioning.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
License: GNU General Public License and GNU Lesser General Public License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

MariaDB

MariaDB

MariaDB is a database server that offers drop-in replacement functionality for MySQL1. MariaDB is built by some of the original authors of MySQL, with assistance from the broader community of Free and open-source software developers. In addition to the core functionality of MySQL, MariaDB offers a rich set of feature enhancements including alternate storage engines, server optimizations, and patches.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Solaris
License: GPL v2 License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

MonetDB

MonetDB

MonetDB is an open-source database system for high-performance applications in data mining, OLAP, GIS, XML Query, text and multimedia retrieval. MonetDB often achieves a significant speed improvement for SQL and XQuery over other open-source systems.

Platform: Windows, Linux
License: MonetDB Public License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

SmallSQL

SmallSQL

SmallSQL is a 100% pure Java database (RDBMS) for Java desktop application. It was created with a very small footprint of 200 – 300 KB for the runtime jar file and it has no network interface for Java desktop application need no network interface.

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
License: LGPL License
Type: Embedded

Virtuoso

Virtuoso is an innovative enterprise grade multi-model data server for agile enterprises & individuals. It delivers an unrivalled platform agnostic solution for data management, access, and integration. The unique hybrid server architecture of Virtuoso enables it to offer traditionally distinct server functionality within a single product offering that covers the following areas: Relational Data Management, RDF Data Management, XML Data Management, Free Text Content Management & Full Text Indexing, Document Web Server, Linked Data Server, Web Application Server, Web Services Deployment (SOAP or REST).

Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris
License: GPL v2 License (Open-Source Edition)
Type: Client/Server

Drizzle

Drizzle is a High-Performance Microkernel DBMS for Scale-Out Applications. It is a community-driven project based on the popular MySQL DBMS that is focused on MySQL’s original goals of ease-of-use, reliability and performance.

Platform: Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris
License: GPL v2 License (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

The OCELOT SQL DBMS

THE OCELOT SQL DBMS is the only Database Management System (DBMS) that supports the full ANSI / ISO SQL Standard (1992), and has an always-growing checklist of SQL-99 features. Work is in progress for the next standard version, SQL:2003.

Platform: Windows
License: Mozilla Open-Source License
Type: Client/Server

SQLMemTable

SQLMemTable is a simple and fast in-memory table and query for Delphi and C++ Builder.

Platform: Windows
License: Free for personal use
Type: Embedded

GNU SQL Server

GNU SQL Server is a free portable multiuser relational database management system written in C language. It supports the full SQL89 dialect and has some extensions from SQL92. It provides multiuser access and transaction isolation based on predicative locks. It also uses RPC, shared memory and message queues.

Platform: Unix
License: GNU General Public License
Type: Client/Server

TurboPower FlashFiler

FlashFiler is a client-server database for Borland Delphi & C++Builder. It features a component-based architecture & the server engine can be embedded in your applications. FlashFiler is easy to configure, performs well, includes SQL support.

Platform: Windows
License: Free (Open-Source)
Type: Client/Server

The database systems have been listed in no specific order. Contact me if you feel that I missed something, or if you know other open-source/free database systems that was not listed.
Do not forget to leave a comment, if you have any questions.

  • Ziad_sowan

    thank  you very nice article