My company says it can't aford a DBMS. What can I do?

Joe Sam Shirah

Few companies can really afford NOT to use a DBMS. If nothing else, developer time spent on custom persistence methods can quickly surpass the cost of a DBMS. If the company doesn't understand this, one option often offered in jest may get serious: Find another company.

But there are low cost, production quality options available and it's worth using the drivers list ( see Where can I find a comprehensive list of JDBC drivers, including the databases they support? ) in reverse to check out DBMS candidates.

Open source DBMS engines are another possibility. For some options there, see Tools for the Open-Source Database

Another, possibly larger, consideration for a cost concious company is that a number of the large commercial databases effectively require a full time DBA, meaning another salary. For that reason, you'll want to look for an easy to use, low maintenance product.