Benefits of databases

How to choose a database supplier

Guide

For many businesses, a relational database management system (RDBMS) can be a large investment. For that reason, it is important to choose your database supplier carefully - the wrong one could be very expensive and might even jeopardise your business.

Questions to ask potential database suppliers

Before implementing a solution based on RDBMS technology, you might find it useful to ask any potential suppliers these nine key questions:

  • How long has the supplier been established?
  • What are the specific costs associated with its product - ie is there a one-off purchase price, an annual renewable licence, a charge per user, etc?
  • How much is charged for technical support?
  • Does the supplier provide consultancy and, if so, at what rates?
  • Is the system scalable? If you suddenly increase your product line by 200 per cent could the system grow automatically to cope with the expansion?
  • Can the supplier recommend any third-party developers that make use of their RDBMS?
  • Is there an active independent user group?
  • Can the supplier provide references for businesses in your industry sector using their software?
  • Does the supplier offer training in the RDBMS and, if so, at what typical cost?

If you're not sure which database technology best suits your business, you can get advice from Invest Northern Ireland's ICT advisers. Call Invest NI helpline on Tel 0800 181 4422 or read about their ICT support for business.