React Native has revolutionized the way mobile apps are developed, allowing developers to build apps for both iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. However, with the growing complexity of mobile applications, choosing the right React Native database becomes crucial. With various options available in the market, ranging from SQL to NoSQL databases, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice.
In this blog, we will dive deep into the different types of databases available and guide you on how to choose the right database for your React Native app, taking into consideration factors such as scalability, performance, and ease of use.
A Quick Introduction To React Native Database And Why You Need One
As you already know what a database is, React Native database is no different. It stores every data related to the react native mobile application.
Six benefits it offers
1. Offline functionality: Databases allow the application to function and store data even when the device is offline, improving the user experience.
2. Improved performance: Storing data in a local database can lead to faster load times and a more responsive user interface.
3. Centralized data management: Having a centralized location for storing data makes it easier to manage, organize and retrieve information.
4. Security: Databases can provide an additional layer of security for sensitive data by allowing it to be encrypted and stored locally on the device.
5. Scalability: Databases can be easily scaled to accommodate larger amounts of data as the application grows.
6. Cross-platform compatibility: Many popular databases, such as SQLite, can be used in both Android and iOS React Native applications.
Data being the most valuable asset needs to be protected and stored at the right place. It does not matter whether the application is small scale or large, once the software is restarted there are chances that this valuable data may be lost.
This is neither good for your application, developer, or business as it hurts customers’ experience making your application a big failure. Thus, the right database is required to handle such scenarios and ensure the application performs smoothly.
7 Must-Consider Factors For Choosing The Right Local React Native Database
Every application has different requirement thus a database that seems perfect for one might not suits another. Therefore, one must carefully analyze the requirements of react native application before choosing the database for it.
Usually, the key requirements upon which selection is based include real-time synchronization, code lines, memory handling, conflict management, and concurrency.
1. Data synchronization in offline mode
More and more applications in the market focus on offline capabilities because it ensures better user experience, long-term connectivity with users, app reliability, etc. Thus, having a database with the same capabilities would be an advantage.
Examples- Firebase, Realm, Watermelon DB, and PouchDB are a few react native database that offers offline-first synchronization.
2. Memory management
Mobile or web applications used for online shopping, banking, real-time financial analysis, medical monitoring, and other applications where data keeps expanding require a database with better memory handling capacity. If the database poorly manages the data or takes too much time in storing and retrieving data, then the application would crash more frequently. It would seriously affect your app’s speed and performance.
To avoid such issue, pick a database with squeezing feature to delete data that is rarely used or not required to clear up the space for other important records.
Example- WatermelonDB is a free react native database that is best in this regard as it has multi-threaded memory with a capacity of up to 10,000 records.
3. Data concurrency conflicts
In case, the application has multiple user access it is obvious to have data conflict issues. Because more than one user may try to make data changes or read/write at the same time leading to data loss and the changes may or may not be saved.
A database that works on multi-version concurrency control, P2P replication, and ACID (Atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) compliance can resolve this issue.
Examples- Realm, Firebase, SQLite, and PouchDB ensures concurrent processing of database transactions without any conflicts as they work on the above-mentioned models.
4. Data security
Since database holds valuable and sensitive information, they are more prone to attacks. Thus, data security is the key factor to consider when selecting a local react native database. Some offer robust encryption security features while others have advanced query rules to restrict unauthorized users to read or modify the data.
Examples- AWS DynamoDB database is one option to go with. It provides secured encryption methods to prevent intrusions by any unauthorized users.
PouchDB could be the second-best option as the database supports SSL security. Firebase, on the other hand, works on server-side rules to protect the database. Realm and SQLite have data encryption types that make them secure database choices.
5. Data complexity
A good local react native database is one that serves all the needs of the application. Storing complex data types is one of those needs for which one must look for a sophisticated database. Usually, most of the databases are quite good at handling JSON or key-value format. These are simple and thus easy to handle however applications with a data structure like objects or complete documents require object database, NoSQL, and table-based databases.
Examples- SQLite, Firebase, Realm, and PouchDB feature one of these types to handle complex data structures.
6. Data modeling and schema design
Data modeling and schema design are critical components of selecting the right database for a React Native project. Data modeling involves creating a visual representation of the data structures and relationships within the database. The schema design defines the actual structure of the data and the way it is stored in the database.
The chosen database should support flexible and dynamic schema design, so that the data structure can evolve and change as the project grows and requirements change. Additionally, the database should have robust data modeling tools and a clear, intuitive data model that makes it easy to define, store, and query data.
Examples- Firebase real-time database is a cloud-based NoSQL database that is well-suited for React Native projects. It offers real-time data synchronization and flexible data modeling capabilities. Realm, SQLite, and AWS amplify are other options.
Though the above 6 factors are sufficient enough to help you decide which database is good for the react native application, the final choice relies on the price. Realm, SQLite, and Firebase are local react native databases that offer simple features for free of cost. However, advanced data encryption and synchronization features are available at a price. Watermelon and PouchDB are completely free of cost.
Each react native database has own set of features, pros, and cons. Thus, comparing one with other is not the right thing to do because everyone has different requirements. Some may want database with high storage capacity while others may need database that performs fast. Therefore, the first area where one needs to have clarity is the requirements. It will make selection easier and effective.