React Native Database: Top 10 Databases for your React Native app

This article will help you to choose the best database to run your React Native application. Before we start, here is a summary of what you will learn reading this article:

  • What is React Native?
  • Why using React Native to build a mobile app?
  • Comparison of the ten best databases for your React Native app

What is React Native?

A JavaScript framework, React Native, facilitates writing natively rendering applications for mobile devices, both Android and iOS. The framework draws from React, the JavaScript library Facebook uses for developing user interfaces (UI).

However, React Native is aimed at mobile platforms rather than the browser. It allows a web developer to write truly “native” mobile applications using an already existing and popular JavaScript library. Additionally, it helps write simultaneously for multiple platforms as the written code can be shared between platforms.

React Native apps are written with a combination of XML-like markup called JSX and JavaScript. The application renders using components of a real mobile user interface instead of web views, so it feels similar to any mobile application. This is achieved by React Native rendering APIs in Java for Android and Objective-C for iOS.

Since it also brings out JavaScript for platform APIs, the applications built can access its features such as the geo-location or phone camera. Currently available for Android and iOS, it can very well expand its horizons and support further platforms in the future.

Learn more watching this video from Academind.

Why use React Native to build a mobile app?

React Native is ideal for developing stable and inexpensive cross-platform applications. Unlike many other frameworks, it uses a native API component to look and feel like a native app for that platform.

Here are a few reasons why React Native is perfect for creating cross-platform apps.

VariableDescription
ArchitectureModular
FlexibilityVery High
Building BlocksPre-loaded elements to simplify coding
StabilityThe framework is running for a long time and it’s extremely stable vs. the other option
Open-SourceYes
CommunityLarge community of developers supporting the platform

Below, some more granular information about the advantages of React-Native.

Saves you time and saves you money

Its cost-effectiveness makes Real Native a great choice. The code used to create an app can, for the most part, can be used on other platforms. It’s an amazing choice to create cross platform iOS/Android app in short time and reduce engineering working hours.

Even in terms of quality, the costs are dramatically reduced by highlighting errors instantly. Because it uses common codes, the time to debug is also decreased as they only need to be fixed once.

Technology Standardization

Using RN, there is no need to have multiple development teams for iOS and Android. The framework shares an impressive 90% of the code among Android and iOS. Real Native can be used by a single team of developers who excel in a certain range of technologies instead of several teams. This ensures a more reliable process and avoids chaos.

Ready to Use Building Blocks

The pre-built components within Real Native enable speedy development. For example, a developer has already finished coding for a few functions, which you need for your app; you can use the codes completely free.

Hot Reload

Perhaps the framework’s most dominant feature is that a developer can refresh the app while in the development phase. This also saves time by automatically refreshing the app with the changing codes. Also, the developer can keep track of every change with live-tracking.

Plugins, plugins, and more plugins

There is a wide variety of well-tested plugins for React Native. Many developers using other frameworks face problems due to the inability to use third-party plugins as they aren’t available to the same extent, but React Native lets you add plugins. Being a flexible platform, it comes with realistic interfaces supported by several options to customize.

Declarative coding style and modular architecture

Declarative coding makes the process of developing apps using React Native flexible and smooth. Modular programming lets the developer easily distinguish any program’s functionalities into separate modules. The ability to check other projects simultaneously allows quick update generation.

Simple User Interface

React Native has a very simple and easy to use UX. Developing an application is difficult, especially if a systematic approach isn’t followed. With Real Native, building mobile apps is easier because it regulates every step’s procedure and has a reduced loading time.

Variables to consider when choosing a React Native database

Choosing the right database is hard and the options available are vast. So, evaluating the right variables are essential to determine the best option. The three most important variable when evaluating a database are:

  • Relational vs. Non-Relational (or SQL vs. NoSQL)
  • Open-Source vs. Proprietary
  • Scalability

Now, let’s dig deeper into these variables.

SQL vs. NoSQL

If you are confused between opting for an SQL and NoSQL database, consider these points:

  1. Unlike NoSQL databases, which are also known as non-relational databases, SQL databases are relational.
  2. SQL databases consist of a predefined schema and use structured query language; on the other hand, NoSQL databases handle unstructured data with its dynamic schemas.
  3. While SQL databases are scaled vertically, NoSQL databases are scaled horizontally.
  4. In contrast to table-based SQL databases, NoSQL databases may be graph, key-value, document, or wide-column stores.
  5. NoSQL databases are better for documents, JSON, and other unstructured data, but SQL are perfect for multi-row transactions.

Proprietary vs. Open-Source

Proprietary software refers to guarded commercial software, which isn’t available elsewhere. Open-source, on the other hand, are those whose source code can be found for free over the Internet. Here are some points to differentiate between the two.

ProprietaryOpen-Source
Ownership of data:Proprietary tools may allow you to extract data from them because it hardly brings them any kind of profit. However, you are not guaranteed to get the data. It quite simply means that you won’t have primary access to the data you created.Open source tools enable priority access to your work. You don’t need permissions to get the data you need. You also have full control over how you exchange the data when exporting it from one app to another.
Improving and adaptingIn the case of proprietary software, you either adjust yourself according to the provided guidelines or contribute freely to a different market. So, it means that the software and its usage is completely yours when using open-source.Whether intentionally or not, you may end up enhancing the open-source tool you are using. It depends on you downloading the source and adjusting the app according to your comfort. How you use it can create a meta-tool for you without modifying the software, in ways the author of the project or other users may have never thought.
Choosing to not upgradeProprietary services push a lot of upgrades and have the right to alter its product, which you must follow. Suppose you’re using a photo editing software which has been changed; you can either adapt to the changes or stop using the software. Proprietary services maintain all the rights to suddenly add or remove features without warning.Changes are common in open source too, and it can be frustrating enough for you to seek an alternative, but it differs from proprietary by allowing you to hold the unaltered code base. Along with you, plenty of others do too, which opens up the doors to branching the project. There are numerous examples of this.
When using a proprietary tool to share documents or a design, if you need to work with another person, they will have to sign up for the same service because most proprietary services generally ask for accounts.It is the same with some open-source items too but it is rare for them to collect and sell your data like other proprietary vendors.
IndependenceNot reallyNo other tool offers as much freedom as open-source; not just to you but also those you want to collaborate with. Even though few use the same copy or assets of the tool you use, a difference always exists when sharing data. This is balanced by the fact that keeping your projects and data open allows you and others to contribute.

Scalability

Scalability can be described as a system’s capability to handle a constantly increasing amount of work. It also refers to the ability to perform more work in the same amount of time when its processing power is tested by accommodating growth. You can call a system scalable if it can bear a growing workload and throughput when extra elements are being added.

Firstly, check how you can scale the databases and inspect each process’s pros and cons. There are two primary means to scale database systems – horizontal and vertical scaling.

Sometimes called scaling out, horizontal scaling refers to including hardware to an existing system, which also means adding new servers to a system.

Vertical scaling is known as scaling up. It is the process of including resources like more powerful CPUs or memory to an existing server.

Top 10 Databases for your React Native app

1. Back4app

Back4app assists developers in creating APIs seamlessly without the need for coding. It provides the tools necessary to build a full App backend on the cloud with known functions and the inclusion of third-party services. It is a genuinely serverless platform where you can conduct relational queries and create relational data models in no time. The platform is based on the most famous open-source backend framework, Parse Server Open Source technology.

Core features

  • Relational database schema & queries

Create indexes, query relational data, use geo queries, and combine functions with low latency and responsiveness. You can define the structure of data programmatically with API calls or graphically from the user interface.

  • Cloud code functions

Use JavaScript to create functions and database triggers, API calls, or job scheduling to run them. Speed up your development by installing NPM modules.

  • Real-time queries

You can send real-time data directly to subscribed clients using Live Queries. This way, repetitive queries are avoided while keeping users updated.

  • REST APIs and GraphQL

Offers auto-generated REST API and GraphQL techniques for every database operation and call function.

  • Cross-platform SDKs

Parse SDKs are available for everybody, be it mobile, desktop, or any other embedded device. The native SDKs allow easy creation of applications for all kinds of devices.

  • Interface like spreadsheet

Its operation resembles the simplicity of a spreadsheet. Whatever a user is trying to do, from creating relations between objects, importing and exporting data, creating, deleting or updating objects, defining schema to creative tables, running API calls, and setting security permissions, it easily allows.

  • Notifications

Use email verifications to validate users and push notifications to engage them. The dashboard enables you to start sending emails and notifications in a few simple clicks and allows using cloud functions to choose a specific time to send such alerts.

  • Files

Upload a file and let the platform do the rest of the job, whether it’s security or availability. The super-fast CDN lets you send media files all across the world.

Pricing

Its pricing varies on the package you choose – Free, Shared ($5/mo), and Dedicated ($250/mo) – with each offering its own set of perks. Please, refer to the Pricing Page for more information.

2. Cloud Firestore

Cloud Firestore is a scalable and flexible database for web, mobile, and server development from Google Cloud Platform and Firebase. It uses real-time listeners to help you keep your data synced across client apps and provides offline support for web and mobile so that users can develop responsive apps that can function without Internet connectivity and server latency. It also offers integration with other Google Cloud Platform and Firebase products.

Core features

  • Flexibility

Firestore supports hierarchical and flexible data structures, so you can save your data in the form of documents, laid down as collections. These documents may not only include subcollections but also have complex objects.

  • Expressive queries

It means that you can use queries to acquire specific documents and get them all in a collection that fits your query parameters. You can use a combination of sorting and filtering or involve several filters for your queries.

  • Updates in Real-time

By using data synchronization, it updates the data on a connected device instantly. Additionally, its design also makes it efficient in fetching simple queries.

  • Offline support

Firestore caches the data actively used by your app, so it can read, write, and hear queries even in offline mode whatever changes that take place locally are synced when the devices come online.

  • Scalable

It has been designed to provide you with Google Cloud Platform’s powerful elements like real transaction support, atomic batch operations, guaranteed right consistency, and automatic data replication across multiple regions.

Pricing

When using Cloud Firestore, users are charged for – the amount of network bandwidth used, the amount of storage used by the database, and the number of writes, reads, and deletes performed. Please, refer to the Pricing Page for more details.

3. Firebase Realtime Database

The RealTime Database It is a cloud-hosted database where the data is saved as JSON and uses real-time synchronization to reach all the connected clients. When using its Android, iOS, and JavaScript SDKs to develop cross-platform apps, every client shares one instance of the Firebase Realtime Database and acquires the latest updates automatically. Using this database, developers can build rich, collaborative apps with safe and direct access to the database.

Core features

  • Realtime

The database uses data synchronization in place of the standard HTTP requests. Every time there occurs a change in data; an immediate update is delivered to all the connected devices. Hence, immersive and collaborative experiences are available without emphasizing on network code.

  • Offline

Although offline, applications stay responsive as Firebase SDK carries user data to the disk. When getting connected again, any changes missed by the client device is synchronized with the existing server state.

  • Scale across several databases

Support your data requirements by dividing your app data across different instances of the database in the same project of yours. You can also authenticate users throughout your database instances. With customized Firebase Realtime Database Rules, control the access to each database separately.

  • Access from client devices

Users can access Firebase Realtime Database right from a web browser or mobile device without the need for an application server. Data validation and security can be availed using the database security rules applied during the writing or reading of data.

Pricing

The Firebase Realtime Database starts with a free plan called Spark Plan, which comes with a few limits but facilitates getting started. As you move ahead, you can upgrade to the Blaze Plan to make the most out of the database. To know more please refer to the Pricing Page.

Want to learn more about the differences of Cloud Firestore and the Real Time Database? Please, read here.

4. Realm

Realm is an object-oriented, flexible database that is easy to understand and adapts to your existing level of coding. Since it was specially created for mobile, the applications you develop on Realm are of high quality, performs great, and is reliable. To top this, it also supports cross-platform.

Core resources

  • Simple to use

Due to this being an object-oriented data model, you can quickly learn to use it. To make matters easier, it doesn’t require extra code to update your data.

  • Offline performance

Since apps work offline, you can save battery and optimize how you use your CPU and bandwidth. Create a performant, reliable application dedicated to mobile devices. Its lightweight datastore embeds right on the device, and you can read or write data locally.

  • Good security

Your data remains encrypted while working or idle. Realm can secure even the most sensitive data. Keep your data safe with transparent decryption and encryption.

  • Cross-platform

Use the Realm database to develop all your apps. With a simple data model, build applications for both Android and iOS.

  • Performance-driven

Realm is capable of handling the most complex queries and massive data loads. This also enables you to create performant apps which are kept updated always with new data.

  • Reactive architecture

Because it is based on live objects, the database makes sure that the data is updated everywhere if it is updated anywhere. You can see the changes in data automatically by connecting your UI to Realm.

Pricing

You can choose to start a free 30-day trial and continue with its Standard plan at $30 per month. Get 2.5 GB storage, 20 GB Bandwidth and 10,000 simultaneous connections.

5. AWS RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service allows you to easily set up, scale, and operate a relational database over the cloud. With a resizable capacity and efficient costing, it automatically handles lengthy processes like database setup, hardware provisioning, backups, and patches. Its main perk is that it lets you concentrate on your apps so that you can give them the security, high availability, compatibility, and performance they require.

Core resources

  • Greatly scalable

Use an API call or a few clicks of your pointer to scale your database’s resources, usually with no downtime. Many of the RDS engine types let you initiate more than one Read Replica to decrease reading traffic load from the primary instance of your database.

  •  Easy to operate

When you use the Amazon RDS, expect the ease of moving from concept to procedure quickly. Within minutes, you can access the power of a production-ready relational database by merely using API calls, the AWS RDS Command-Line Interface, or the Amazon RDS Management Console. You don’t need to install or maintain a database software, nor do you require provisioning infrastructure.

  • Fast

This database supports the most robust applications. With two SSD storage options to choose from – one for cost-effective general use and the other for high performance, even the most demanding apps have their requirement met.

  • Durable

It runs on a very reliable infrastructure used by most other Amazon Web Services. Its features highly improve the reliability for critical production databases such as automatic host replacement, database snapshots, and automated backups.

  • Affordable

What makes the AWS RDS popular is its low rates. You pay only for what you use. Additionally, you also avail of the On-Demand pricing option without commitments.

Pricing

The AWS RDS follows a pay-as-you-go model, so adapt your business as per the requirements and not foresight. It helps you save and spend more on quality. Discover more here.

6. AWS DynamoDB

A document database, Amazon DynamoDB provides single-digit millisecond performance. It is multi-mastered, multi-region, durable, and fully managed with inbuilt memory caching, backup, restore, and security for internet-scale apps. It supports about 20 million requests every second and can take over 10 trillion requests a day.

Core features

  • No server management

DynamoDB has no servers to manage or patch and no software to install or operate. It is capable of auto-scaling the tables to adapt to maximum performance. Fault tolerance and availability are inbuilt, which removes the need to develop applications for these features. The database also offers both on-demand and provisioned modes of capacity so that you can specify the capacity according to the workload to optimize costs or pay only for what you use.

  • Performance at scale

It supports one of the world’s most massive scale apps by giving continuous, single-digit millisecond response times at any scale. It enables a developer to create apps with virtually limitless storage. Even if you have applications distribute worldwide, its global tables mirror your data throughout several AWS Regions to offer you quick, local access.

  • Enterprise-ready

Create business-critical apps at scale with the database’s ACID transaction support. By default, DynamoDB encrypts the data and offers you access control and identity on all tables. Make complete backups of a huge amount of data immediately without harming your tables. Also, since there is no downtime in the 35 days of your backup, you can freely recover them at will.

Pricing

DynamoDB has two pricing modes for on-demand and provisioned capacity. First, it charges a user for writing and reading data on your tables, whereas the latter allows specifying the number of read/write per second so that you can adjust your costs. Know more here.

7. DigitalOcean Managed Databases

DigitalOcean Managed Databases are high performing and entirely managed database cluster service, including end-to-end SSL encryption, standby nodes for availability, and PITR (point-in-time) recovery. It is an excellent replacement for installing, setting-up, securing, and handling databases by hand.

Core features

  • Quick setup and maintenance

Only through a few clicks you can initiate your database cluster and access it using an API or the database’s simple UI. It allows you to focus on the primary task by handling all operations like maintenance and updates for you.

  • Highly scalable and automatic failover

Its high scalability enables you to adjust it at any point in time, depending on your business growth. If you stumble across a failure, DigitalOcean’s Managed Databases switches data handling to standby automatically to decrease downtime.

  • Free backups and powerful performance

It offers free daily backups to ensure your critical data is always safe and backed up. You can restore data to any point within the past seven days. Because it runs on business-level SSD storage and hardware, your backup is not only secure, but you also experience super-fast performance.

  • Encryption

Since you use your private network to run the databases, requests through the Internet can only reach you if you have whitelisted specific sources. Managed Databases also encrypts data at rest and in transit.

Pricing

The pricing of DigitalOcean Managed Databases are based on the plan you choose and can range anywhere from $15 to $2240 per month. Learn more here.

8. Google Cloud Databases

Google Cloud Databases is a fully-managed database service that enables you to install, maintain, and operate relational databases on the Google Cloud Platform. It comes with three architectures for worldwide data dispersion, namely regional, multi-cloud and hybrid.

Core features

  • Google Cloud Console

Users can make and manage instances in the console. It offers a massive data storage and memory and the room to enhance the storage size as per convenience.

  • Data replication and automatic failover

Its scalability allows the replication of data between different zones to match your business growth. Additionally, its automatic failover triggers any time you mess up to decrease downtime by switching to standby.

  • Security and backup

User data is encrypted on the internal networks of Google and backups, temporary files, and database tables. Google Cloud Databases supports private server access and features on-demand and automated backups and PITR (point-in-time recovery).

Pricing

For a detailed look into how the products are priced, visit the service provider website here.

9. PouchDB

PouchDB is a JavaScript implementation of CouchDB is another in-browser database that enables an app to save data locally and allow the users to enjoy an application’s features even when offline. It is a widely preferred open-source project written in JavaScript and available for free.

Core features

  • Client synchronization

PouchDB syncs the data between clients and keeps the users updated irrespective of wherever they are. So, even if you’re offline, your progress is stable.

  • Compatible with outside servers

It can also be used as a direct interface to servers compatible with CouchDB as it can also run in Node.js. You also avoid spending more time writing consistent and clean codes or stressing about the browser’s differences.

  • Supports multiple browsers

PouchDB can work on all types of browsers available today by using IndexedDB where needed and WebSQL where the former doesn’t work. From Firefox 29+ to iOS 7.1+ and everything in-between, PouchDB supports.

Pricing

It’s free to download and self-host.

10. WatermelonDB

WatermelonDB is a reactive database framework that lets you develop powerful Reach Native apps. Optimized for unmatched performance, it can handle complex applications easily on React Native. While it consists of most of the features mentioned above, its noteworthy traits are as follows.

Core features

  • Completely observable

Perhaps the most dominant feature of this database is that it’s reactive and can observe any object, automatically rendering the parts whenever it experiences a change in data. All you have to do is make changes in the object, and it will update every component in the application.

  • Sync adapter and sync primitives

Despite being a local database, it offers sync adapters and sync primitives, making it reasonably simple to use any of the WatermelonDB backend databases. The user only needs to comply with the sync protocol and input the endpoints.

  • Uses SQLite for React Native

To enhance speed in a modern browser, WatemelonDB uses just-in-time compilation. However, you cannot find it for mobile devices as mobile hardware is slower than a computer. This is why JavaScript apps function slowly in a mobile app. But, the database only seeks extra help if necessary; otherwise, it uses SQLite and lazy loading for faster response.

Pricing

Free to download.

Conclusion

This article compared the best 10 React-Native databases. The right decision depends upon specific project conditions and variables like SQL vs. NoSQL, Open-Source vs. Proprietary, and scalability requirements.

FAQ

What is React Native?

A JavaScript framework, React Native, facilitates writing natively rendering applications for mobile devices, both Android and iOS. The framework draws from React, the JavaScript library Facebook uses for developing user interfaces (UI).

Why use React Native?

– Saves time and money
– Tech stack standardization
– Hot Reload
– Ready to use building blocks
– Open-Source

What are the best React Native databases?

1. Back4app
2. Cloud Firestore
3. The Real-Time Database
4. Realm
5. AWS RDS
6. AWS Dymano DB
7. Digital Ocean Managed Databases
8. Google Cloud Databases
9. PouchDB
10. WatermelonDB


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