It is easy to get started in database programming. There is a large selection of high quality database on the market. Many companies will let students download and use their products for free.
- Microsoft Access: Although Microsoft Access is not the ideal program from mission critical application, it is a good place to learn basic database design. Access works as both a ODBC host and client. It is often used as a front end for system databases. The big disadvantage is that it is difficult to get behind the GUI tools to learn the program.
- MySQL: MySQL is shaping up as a major player in the medium size database market. The UNIX version of mySQL is fast, robust and reliable. The program does not let you use embedded queries, and has few other quirks. MySQL is part of the GNU Open Source efforts. It is free for non-commercial applications, and has a reasonable license fee for commercial applications.
- Oracle: is one of the leaders in the enterprise software arena. Oracle includes many advanced features such as an embedded programming language (PL/SQL) for writing produces and triggers. They also include many advanced development tools, and include state of the art features such as table partitioning and parallel queries.