What do I need to know about databases?

Databases are organized collections of data which typically works to support processes that makes it easy to retrieve the required information. Its model simply works like a process of knowing which room is vacant in a hotel at any given time. To enable this, a Database Management System (DBM), which is an application designed for the interaction of the database with a user or any other application, is used to receive and analyze data. Most often DBMs are designed so as to define, create, query, update and function for the administration of the databases.

As data from websites are kept in special databases in the web host, a database server is required to run the database. A database server may mean both the hardware and the software used to run it. As hardware, it refers to the physical computer that hosts the database while as a software, it is the back-end portion of a database application, also known as instance, which follows the traditional client-server model. The server works by managing the database and by providing requested information when needed.

With shared hosting solutions, database servers are prone to becoming swamped with a lot of requests within a single moment which often results the server not being able to serve the some requests. This is because database servers can only accept a limited number of connections at any single time. When it is simultaneously subjected to too many requests, it often runs out of resources and could not service any of them. This is the reason why you often see error messages like “Can’t connect to MySQL Server” which simply means that it is receiving a lot of requests and has become swamped.

What Database Management Systems are commonly by shared hosting providers?

Among the most commonly used Database Management Systems used include

  • MySQL; 
  • MS SQL; 
  • PostgreSQL; 
  • SQLite; 
  • Oracle; 
  • dBase; 
  • FoxPro; 
  • IBM DB2; 
  • LibreOffice Base; and 
  • FileMaker Pro.

What Database rights, permissions and restrictions can I expect from Shared Hosting Account providers?

Most shared hosting companies give clients the right either to directly or remotely access their databases as well as the permission for the account to read and write data and to execute data definition language statements. Data definition language is the language which gives you the ability to define objects, as well as allow you to either create and/or alter tables, triggers, and views.

Due to the number of databases that a single instance can encapsulate, hosting companies are often forced to limit the database ownership rights of customers. The most common restriction is the being the size and number of database objects that you can create. As such, you are only allowed to create a single server database, especially if your plan uses SQL Server Web Edition. Other hosting providers, though, give clients the ability to create unlimited Microsoft SQL Server Databases with the use of SQL Server Express 2008 Release 2 which allows 10GB of database and storage capacity. However, be aware that the “unlimited” database may have its restrictions too in as much as other databases are sharing space with you in the same SQL instance and it is possible that you may run into the 10GB limit.

What important details do I need to verify and confirm that I can do with my database in my shared hosting account?

Before signing up with any service provider and before considering database rights you should be able to verify that you can execute data definition statements on the following objects:

  • Tables 
  • Views 
  • Indexes 
  • Constraints 
  • Triggers 
  • Stored procedures 
  • Functions 
  • Users 
  • Database roles 
  • Application roles and 
  • Schemas


Also make sure that you are provided the ability to:

  • Create; 
  • Modify; and 
  • Drop objects