Social Media websites require a well-organized database to let the user create their personalized profiles and manage them online. There are a lot of important features which are necessary for all websites in general, and not just social media sites. These primarily include recovery and backup facilities, auditing, and proper alert systems to ensure good support and satisfactory operability. Some of the best practices for social media databases are as discussed below.
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Many of the programmers often think of custom designing databases for specific applications without considering the features they need to serve. It is primarily the case when developers are required to deliver a database within a set deadline, and they make use of all the shortcuts to save time.
With such a quick database design, it becomes difficult for the DBA's to add new features and functionality as needed. Considering the speed at which technology evolves nowadays, taking the design cuts and narrowing the point of view can be a big problem in social media database design. You should avoid skipping any essential functionality by assuming that you may need it in the future.
The next significant factor to keep in mind while designing social media databases is scalability. You need to consider the number of concurrent users that you may have to handle through this platform. It is primarily counted as RPS ( requests-per-seconds ). For this, you need to choose a session-heavy database if your site expects a high RPS, which is the default case of social media applications. You may even hit session or connection limit before reaching the RPS maximum.
While thinking of social media DB, performance is considered as the response time, which is measured in percentiles and by the workload. A good option to consider for the performance of a social media database is caching for reads and buffering writes, which will help reduce read traffic to the database. The buffering writes come in handy by reducing the overall pressure on the database, and more importantly during the peak timings.
Proper database design will make any application much more efficient and easy to maintain. You should avoid creating a database, which is simply the dump yard of data. Sometimes, this may be only a need for a non-data dependent application, but this is not how a social media database should be handled. If you properly merge the application and database, you can effectively make use of the database to reuse the design elements and add more functionality to the application on the go without the need to rebuild it from scratch.
You should not wait till the last phase of database structuring to call in the service of expert database administrators. If you are thinking of a social media application, the professional assistance of a DBA expert is a must during the establishment of the database. Database administrators should set all essential aspect such as naming conventions, strategizing data structuring, and proper analytical aspects. Involving an expert DBA consultant during the database design phase will ensure that these default things are properly taken care of.
It is also important to devise a proper mapping of how the application will interact with the database. Choosing adequate database layers by using various programming objects will make it almost impossible to set it apart from the primary memory data. That is what many developers follow, but it has many shortfalls. Using additional strategies for data interaction and dedicated DBA methods will summarize proper data access. Programmers can write custom codes, and stored procedures as the application may access the DB using these methods.
Using appropriate data models is another essential aspect of software engineering while planning for data-intensive applications like social media. However, many of the developers often do not take care of it well. As far as social media sites are concerned, it is important to remember that data acts as the memory of this enterprise. The developers need to think far beyond the baseline website requirements and go beyond simply writing the codes. An appropriate summary data model is a must for adequate database design.
While thinking of social media databases, you should cover all foreign keys in the database by properly indexing it. The index needs to be planned explicitly for all the foreign keys to avoid any adverse side effects of primary and alternative key definitions. Primarily, database queries move across from foreign keys to the primary keys. You can also increase the efficiency by designing the primary keys. The most important thing to remember is that even a single index missing may reduce the performance of the query performance enormously, and will make it harder or impossible to predict the potential crossovers.
The developers of social media applications also need to remember that such sites will have new members signing up on a daily basis, and the application will keep on evolving in the future. So, even if you are not thinking of partition now, picking a database with essential partitioning support is a must for smooth upgrading or transition of the application. You must select a key type which easily supports partitioning for the social media databases.
Basic databases may not be able to handle all sorts of errors. That is why you need to check the fault tolerance of a database, which refers to two major types of failures which a system will be able to withstand. You should ensure that your website is not prone to failure due to the database faults. With the help of expert DBA professionals, it is very much possible to custom create a database which has an excellent fault tolerance.
To conclude, social networking sites can generate a lot of revenue if handled correctly. It is primarily due to the high level of traffic these sites attract. So, to ensure significant returns through your social media sites, make sure of high performance, scalability, and fault tolerance in your database at the first point. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the database are also crucial to keep the database function at its best.
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