What is the best and free way to manage a small cloud database for an Android and a web app?

I don’t know if it is the “best”. You’d have to define that using S.M.A.R.T. criteria.

But if you want a generic good backend solution that has free storage, check out: Google’s Firebase.

It depends surely on several factors - how much space you need, the levels of security, the features you require, the OS you are using. I will take a look at some of the most popular apps and how much they give you for free.

1) Google Drive
First of all it's from Google, so it gives you the benefit of being the heart of various services that Google currently offers. On setting up your Google account or linking your existing one to Drive, you get an instant free storage of 15GB, more than any other storage app offers. Now, this storage space will shared by all your Google services. Like when you get an attachment in your emails, you can directly add it to Drive or can have an automatic photo backup from your smartphone. Also, it offers MS-Office like documents, spreadsheet, presentations etc. online and offline as well. Unlike other cloud storage apps, it doesn't have any way of adding storage through referrals or linking your account to social media.

On the whole, the interface across the apps is smart and simple to navigate, with a basic file tree showing where your data is kept. You can choose specific files to be available offline on the mobile versions, and these can be edited - if they were created in Google Docs - then synced when you return online. For other formats (such as Word) you’ll need to open them in another app - thus creating a duplicate copy.

Data stored on Drive is, similarly to Apple, encrypted in 128-bit AES rather than the 256-bit employed by Box, OneDrive, and Dropbox. Google asserts that it won’t pry into the content of your Drive folder unless compelled by law enforcement agencies, and you can set up two-step verification on your account to add another layer of security.

Google Drive: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs

2) Dropbox
The basic, free account comes with a rather small - in comparison to rival services - 2GB of storage. For documents this is still huge, but if you want to store any kind of media – photos, music, or video - it will disappear very fast, but Dropbox also offers 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you get to sign up to the service - with a limit of 16GB. Other ways to bolster your account include linking it to Facebook, Twitter, or setting up a
Mailbox account (currently offering a 1GB increase). Enabling the camera upload feature will also gain you 3GB, and automatically backup your smartphone/tablet photos to the cloud.

Security features include two-step authentication (always worth turning on) and all files held on the Dropbox servers are encrypted by AES 256-bit encryption, albeit employed from Dropbox’s side rather than the user, with SSL for the data being uploaded and downloaded.

Final Verdict:
With 15GB of free storage, Google Drive is the most generous of all the services in this test. If you live in the Google universe then it really is an excellent storage option, particularly if you use Google Docs a lot.

Dropbox is an excellent, cross-platform solution that remains a benchmark against which others must compete. It may lack a few of the whistles and bells of its rivals, but it’s rock solid and compatible with so many applications.

There are many more apps like OneDrive, Box, SugarSync etc. but as we are talking here about Android, these two simply beats them all at it, because of the seamless integration they provide with other apps and the OS itself.

7 best cloud storage services - 2014's best online storage sites revealed

There is no straight answer for this question. The choice completely depends upon the requirement of the application. So unless you don’t have the actual problem you cannot tell about the best solution. Keeping this in mind all the options that we have, have their own pros and cons.

We have many options for database for example

  • SQLite,
  • Firebase Realtime Database
  • FireStore
  • Realm
  • Room
  • MySQL etc.

In many cases you might end up using multiple database. Because often we use both an external database that resides in our server and a local database (usually SQLite) that caches our data in mobile for offline access.

Now let’s assume some scenarios.

For example you want to build a chat application, or a social network kind of a thing. If you want to use only SQLite or local database for this kind of application then it is not possible. In this case you must use a database that is central to all the users. For example Firebase Database or MySQL.

But if you are building an isolated billing system for a store where the data do not need to be accessed outside the application you can use SQLite or Room.

Now let me do some self promotion ;)

I have published tutorials about using database in Android you can check it.

#1 Android Room Tutorial

#2 Android MySQL with PHP and Retrofit

#3 Firebase Realtime Database Tutorial

And if you will check my channel then you will find a lot more. Hope this helps. Thank You :)

Well, there are uncountable options for that and infinite combinations.

You need to choose a backend language and a database.

Let’s list down the famous technologies which have a strong community so that you have enough support to build apps smoothly.

To make a web app, you mainly need 3 types of technologies one for backend, one for database and one for frontend. I will tell you about the famous technologies which are free and highly used. You can choose any one of them.

Backend Languages

  • PHP (or PHP with preferably any framework like Laravel, Yii 2, CI etc)
  • NodeJs (or NodeJs with Express)
  • Python (or Python with Django)
  • Java (or Java with Spring framework)
  • Ruby (or Ruby on Rails framework)
  • C# (or with .Net Core)
  • and many more


  • MySql/MariaDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • SqlServer
  • Oracle
  • MongoDb
  • Firebase
  • and many more


  • Bootstrap
  • React.js
  • Angular.js
  • Vue.js
  • and many more

You can make any combination using above technologies. Like you can use PHP+MySQL+React or Node+MySQL+React or Python+Mongo+Angular and so on. I will share my personal choice as well which works like charm.

Personal Suggestions

Some of the combinations that I like are:

  1. NodeJs with React/Angular and MongoDb (famously called MERN/MEAN stack)
  2. PHP with Laravel/Yii 2, MariaDB as Database and Bootstrap
  3. React with Firebase (Backend is optional for Firebase since Firebase itself is Backend-as-a-Service)

Happy Coding.

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If you liked my answer , Please do an upvote.

Which one are you best at? That’s probably the one that’s going to work best for you. All the major offerings have a free tier. Are you a PostgreSQL monster? That’s the best one. Could you run rings around Itzik Ben-Gan in T-SQL on SQL Server? That’s the best one.

Or, alternatively, you may have special needs for the organization. In this case, will MySQL support the data structures you need? If not, will PostgreSQL? Whichever one does, is the best for that solution.

Anyone who attempts to argue that DBMSa is objectively, in every way, superior to DBMSb, better have a lot of very relevant facts to back themselves up. A may be superior to B situationally, but, the fact is, the major database systems (once we’re comparing SQL to SQL, Document to Document, etc.) cover the basics pretty much equally. So, the devil is in the details, your needs, and your abilities.

Asked to answer.

If the question is whether you should generate SQL text and connect to MySQL databases directly from Android apps, the safest way is to not do so…

Or more precisely, implement your Android app so that it dialogs with a app-server backend that ultimately talks to a database. This has several advantages:

  • You can implement a secure dialog mechanism between your Android clients and your backend.
  • You can make changes to your database schema and other features of your data-world without needing changes to your phone-side apps, as your app-to-backend API hides these details from your apps.
  • You can scale out much more easily as you can ultimately have many backends talking to many databases if your app ends up being a big hit on Android.
  • You won’t be as vulnerable to SQL injection and other types of hack-attacks.

It may take a bit more time to implement than just generating SQL text in your phone app, but it’s vastly more secure and robust as a design.

You cannot directly connect android Application to external databases. You would need to use some form of webservice, may be a simple java webservice or php scripts, which may retrieve data from the database.

There are few Library files like K-Soap which will facilitate in sending and geting data from Web services.

There are lot of online Applications,which allows you to create online databases for free.One such website,which I liked the most is OpenShift - PaaS by Red Hat, Built on Docker and Kubernetes.

Openshift allows to create databases for Free and you can also host web services or Web Applications for free. If you like the service, you can pay and extend to a Premium account.

You’ll need to write an API which both the web app and mobile app talk to. Depending on how your backend is already set up, if you’re using a language like PHP or Ruby on Rails, there are a lot of gems and tools you can use to get your API set up.

One thing I recommend: when building an API, you’ll want to make sure you provide a way to authenticate against it (which will protect your user’s data as well as fight againt spam). This is commonly done by setting up some kind of token-based auth system whereby you send a token up with every request and verify that the token is valid.

I’m not sure if you’re asking for the server costs of hosting your own database, or for the prices of ready-to-use solutions, but for the ready-to-use database solutions take a look at these offers:

Firebase Pricing
Realm Pricing

If you’re hosting you own solution, it might be cheaper, as you only have to pay for server (higher number of users requires more powerful servers which are more expensive), and maybe pay additionally for some storage, depending on what you plan on storing. For that kind of a solution, check this pricing:

Pricing on DigitalOcean | Cloud server & storage pricing

Amazon RDS Pricing – Amazon Web Services (AWS)

But you’ll also need to pay a developer to design your database and set it all up..

There is no such thing as unlimited cloud storage. ‘Cloud storage’ simply means that you’re storing your data on someone else’s drive, and accessing it remotely. However large their drive is, it’s not unlimited.

Also, because you’re borrowing someone else’s property to store your information, it’s not going to be free.

Most cloud storage companies give you anywhere from 5 GB - 15 GB of free cloud storage, and if you need more, it will cost you a small monthly fee.