We use MySQL and now mostly Maria. While I agree that PostgeSQL might be
technically advantageous in some ways, its ubiquity and the easy
availability of many free and paid support options make it a great choice.

That said, I think you should examine and explore the possibilities offered
by Solr or Elastisearch. Those would likely by my tools of choice for your

Of course, I would probably wrap this in Drupal either way ;)


On Friday, April 15, 2016, Adam Constabaris <[log in to unmask]>

> Hi Matt,
> It's very hard to provide a responsible recommendation without further
> details, so this is just going to be a quick overview of *relational
> database* options.  It might be that some of the other recommendations fit
> your needs better.  For example, if your users aren't at ease with SQL,
> Solr or ElasticSearch might be better..
> Consider SQLite.  It's nearly everywhere (public domain, embedded in tons
> of things).  There's a Firefox extension that will let you work with it
> through the browser if you don't want to do things from the command line.
> SQLite isn't a multi user server, it's more a file format.  The database is
> a single file that you can ship around.  You can build a 'self contained'
> web application on top of it, which can make deployment much easier.
> As befits its nature, it's a bit loose with data types (e.g. you can insert
> strings into numeric column types).  But there's a lot to be said in its
> favour.
> MySQL (or MariaDB) are reasonable choices,  It does a lot of things very
> well, and it's very easy to get started with, and lots of documentation.
> You will need to pay attention if your data is multilingual and/or
> "non-Latin".
> I will second the suggestion to look at PostgreSQL: it's almost as
> available as MySQL, and tends to adhere closer to SQL standards than MySQL
> (e.g. window functions), and it's fast, and its data storage model makes
> for some nice features (e.g. you can update a table's structure while
> others are querying it, which is great for availability).  It supports
> "foreign data wrappers" which let you query other data sources in
> PostgresSQL (
> It's worth mentioning that recent versions of PostgreSQL have a JSON column
> type (and the most recent versions support functions that let you query
> inside JSON-valued columns).  For some time, it has supported functional
> indexes:
> These two features together mean you can index 'into' a JSON-valued column
> to get fast searching over more loosely structured data, so these versions
> of PostgreSQL also give you many of the advantages touted for NoSQL systems
> while still giving you a standardized query language and traditional ACID
> "guarantees."
> HTH,
> AC
> On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Matt Sherman <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I am looking to pick the group brain as to what might be the most useful
> > database software for a digital project I am collaborating on.  We are
> > working on converting an annotated bibliography to a searchable database.
> > While I have the data in a few structured formats, we need to figure out
> > now what to actually put it in so that it can be queried.  My default
> line
> > of thinking is to try a MySQL since it is free and used ubiquitously
> > online, but I wanted to see if there were any other database or software
> > systems that we should also consider before investing a lot of time in
> one
> > approach.  Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.
> >
> > Matt Sherman
> >

Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company