Among the many hybrid frameworks that support building cross-platform applications, React Native is arguably one of the best. Today, it is an ideal choice for developers to build high-performance apps. In recent years, React Native has emerged as a top player for Startups and SMEs looking for an efficient and effective app solution, in terms of cost and time. In 2020, React Native was the most used cross-platform mobile app framework with 42% of software developers using it, reports Statista. It gives head-to-head competition to its counterpart Flutter.
Read: React Native vs Flutter
Multiple factors come into play to build a great react native app that is high-performing, has offline-first functionality, and can be easily scaled. One needs to select the right tools and the tech stack. Apart from this, choosing the best local database is also one of the major challenges that developers come across. When there are a plethora of options available, one may wonder which database would be the best to opt for. We, therefore, decided to list the best local databases for building react native apps so that developers do not have to spend much time on this tedious task.
Before you pick any particular database for react native apps, it’s important to take the below-mentioned factors into account.
A lot depends on how the database handles the complexity of the data. By default, apps use a key-value store or database to store data where keys and values are serialized usually through a library or by a react-native developer. This can, however, create some major issues and affect the app’s performance, especially at the time it is operating in a limited resource environment of a smartphone.
Therefore, it gets crucial to select a database that can manage to store more complex data effectively.
The failure to implement proper memory management can result in the app getting crashed. Developers must ensure that the database they choose handles memory effectively. The compaction process can be extremely useful in this case that collects free space in a large memory chunk to make some space available for other processes. Put simply, it erases the inoperative data or documents and ensures that free space is always available in the memory.
The database should ensure that the app gets easily synced as soon as an Internet connection is available. For a seamless sync functionality, you can go for simple or complex databases depending on the type of application you want to build. The former can be leveraged for apps with low complexity and no multi-user collaboration while the latter would be more useful for the apps that require multi-user collaboration, such as Trello.
Do not go for an advanced database if the CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operation requires more than 20 lines of code to be written. It can make the coding complicated and also affect the DB performance to a great extent. Moreover, it incurs high development costs and can make the application slow.
The more collaboration features your app has, the more is the possibility of a data conflict. It is suggested to select a database that shares the conflict-handling policies on the website or the repository pages. Go through the database documents thoroughly and find out how the database handles syncing and conflicts.
Keeping the above factors in mind, you can proceed to choose the most appropriate local database for your react native app. Here are some of the top local databases, ranked in no particular order, for react native app development.
Firebase is one of the best local databases for react native apps. Owned by Google, Firebase supports real-time NoSQL database for react native app development. It comes with seamless data synchronization and offline data modifications- one of the reasons why this database is preferred by developers. It is capable enough to handle M and C of the MVC (Model-View-Controller) required for react native-based applications. Additionally, Firebase helps you assess bugs in your application through performance tracking tools.
1. Real-time data sync for all clients simultaneously. This comes of great help for apps that abruptly go offline due to a poor internet connectivity issue.
2. Requires minimal set-up for the cross-platform API when it is being used inside the application. Furthermore, there’s no requirement for an application server to access data as it can be done through a mobile device directly.
Firebase offers up to 1GB of free data storage. Post 1GB, the charges are $0.108 per additional GB.
Next to our list of best local databases for React native apps is Realm. Realm is an open-source object database management system that is fast and easy to use. It’s a great option for those apps that provide offline support and real-time functionality. Moreover, it works on both smartphones and wearable devices. Realm comes with its own database search engine and doesn’t rely on key-value stores.
1. Realm sync allows sync services to run in the background, and stores and saves user interactions and service requests locally.
2. One can opt for Redux offline to build an offline-first architecture through Realm.
3. Security is intact as Realm leverages multiple encryption standards for distinct mobile platforms.
Speaking of its pricing, though the Realm database is free and open-source, availing its pro version for building react native apps can cost approximately $1750 per month.
SQLite was built to provide local storage to mobile applications. ‘Lite’ in SQLite signifies that it is a lightweight library that requires minimal setup. SQLite can be integrated with mobile apps to directly access the database and perform related operations.
1. SQLite database is ACID-compliant and thus implements entire SQL standards with a few omissions. It consists of a file-based library architecture and some tools that can handle all data types without any difficulty.
2. For offline persistence, you can make use of the react-native-SQLite-storage plugin to manage the data within the application.
3. SQLite is also open-source and thus free-to-use, however, one has to pay a one-time fee of $6000 to get the license for copyright infringement.
Async storage is a local storage database system that allows developers to store locally and persist data between application reboots. This local database is in-built with React Native and can be used without needing any extra deployment.
1. Async storage is quite useful to save the data the app has to use even when the user has taken an exit from the application.
2. It can be accessed whenever required.
1. Developers need not run queries over the network as PouchDB stays inside a browser. This results in faster execution of queries.
2. Data can be synced with any supported server to run applications both online and offline.
3. It comes with SSL support, implying that the data can be encrypted easily with AES256.
Adding next to the list of top local databases to build react native apps is Vasern which is one of the most lightweight, fast, and open-source databases. Developers leverage the Vasern API for local data as well as cloud storage, and for syncing across app’s clients. Its design and structures are influenced by a multitude of open source databases.
1. Developer-friendly end-to-end database syncing.
2. Faster operations
3. Focuses on consistency and performance
WatermelonDB is built on top of SQLite and possesses the potential to scale hundreds and thousands of records without losing its speed. The database is optimized to create complex applications in React native with a keen focus on real-world performance.
1. Static typing with flow
2. Offers an offline first system
3. Helps develop cross-platform apps on SQLite foundation.
That’s our checklist of the top 7 local databases for building react native apps. The database choice can vary according to the needs and project requirements. Consider the factors that we mentioned at the beginning and figure out which database would suit your application the most.
Still confused? Get in touch with our React Native experts.
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