Benefits and Limitations of Online Databases

An online database is a database that can be accessed via the Internet. Online databases are usually hosted by a third-party provider, which means they are not stored on your own server.

In the past, there have been many challenges faced by organisations when it comes to data management. The use of legacy systems may require extensive maintenance efforts and can be extremely slow to respond to the needs of the business.

A good example is many firms and large companies’ current use of Microsoft Access. This powerful tool offers many options to those with technical skills, but for most users, the data is stored in the Microsoft Access database system, which is very slow to retrieve, often taking a lot of time to load a page.

Today, businesses and organisations use more than one database to get things done. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as the different parts of a database, the different needs of an organisation, or just about anything else. Because there are so many databases, it’s not unusual for a company to have more than one person in charge of a database and all the data that goes with it. This is very hard to do and can often lead to problems like lost data, data that doesn’t match up, or other problems.

In an effort to solve these issues, various tools have been developed in recent years to aid data management, many of which are provided by online databases.

benefits and limitations of online databases

The Advantages of Using an Online Database

Many of these databases have been around for quite a while and are known by different names depending on the type of database provider. For example, many companies provide online databases to businesses, such as IBM, MySQL, Amazon, and MS Office 365, to name a few.

Always Availability

With the advent of online databases, information has never been more accessible. A wealth of publicly available, constantly updated data is at users’ fingertips with just a few mouse clicks. Online databases are a useful resource for researchers of all stripes since they can be accessed from any location with an Internet connection. Researchers on a tight budget may appreciate the fact that many online databases are available at no cost to the user.


A web-based database can hold unlimited data and is elastic. Whenever there is a surge in the data flow, more storage space can be allocated and scaled up and down based on the requirement.

An elastic database can automatically grow or shrink based on how much work is done. This differs from traditional on-premises databases, where adding or removing capacity must be done by hand. There are many benefits to having an elastic database. First, it can help save money by only using the resources needed at any given time. Second, it can help improve performance by adding capacity when needed and taking it away when it’s not.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, an elastic database can help make sure that your database is always available. If demand goes up quickly, the database can automatically grow to meet it. In the same way, if market drops, the database can shrink to save money. There are several elastic databases, but Amazon’s DynamoDB and Google’s Cloud Spanner are the most popular. Both of these services are made to be highly available and scalable, and some of the largest companies in the world have put them to the test.

Real-Time Retrieval of Data

Online databases also offer users the ability to search and retrieve data on the fly, or in real-time. The user can see the results of a search before the information is stored in the database. This allows a user to know exactly what’s in a database and see what they’ll be searching for.


The reasons why internet databases are economical are numerous. One of the main draws of online databases is that anyone with an internet connection may use them, eliminating the need for costly software or gear. Users can always find the most recent information because internet databases are updated more regularly than physical ones. Last but not least, a common pricing structure for online databases is a “pay as you go” one, where users only pay for the information they actually access.

The monthly subscription-based pay-per-use model makes online databases look quite lucrative where you do not need to invest a huge Cap-Ex on licensed software.

Limitations of an Online Database


There are several security risks associated with online databases. One of the most significant risks is that of unauthorized access. If an unauthorized person can gain access to a database, they may be able to view, edit, or delete data. This could lead to a loss of sensitive information or the alteration of critical data.

Another risk is data breaches. If a database is not properly secured, it may be possible for hackers to gain access to the data it contains. This could result in the theft of sensitive information or the alteration of critical data.

Finally, there is the risk of data corruption. This can occur if a database is not properly maintained or if it is improperly used. This could lead to the loss of data or the alteration of critical data.

Switching Costs

Another concern when selecting an online database is switching. Different databases support different formats, and switching from one to another becomes a pain, thereby increasing switching costs.


There are times when the server can be down for multiple reasons, leading to massive data loss and inaccessibility, thereby causing significant customer losses.

The online database can improve your productivity in many ways and can serve multiple functions. You can customize an online database according to your business workflow or use it for data collection and information sharing. Web-based databases work in different environments, so that is the most significant advantage you can get.

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