Datagrids vs Databases – what are the differences?

There are some datagrids I had quick look into:

  • Angular UI Grid

  • ag-Grid, one more link

  • Kendo UI Grid

Also, previously I had a very small experience with MySQL.

What are the differences between (a) datagrids, as given above and (b) databases like MySQL, with enduser-oriented frondend added to them?


A grid or datagrid is a kind of user interface widget used to display tabular data.

A database is a software system that manages read and write operations on large amounts of structured persistent data.

Here are some typical goals/features for a database that don’t apply to a datagrid:

  • Ensure transactions always complete in their entirety, or get fully rolled back, even in the event of a software crash or a power failure.
  • A declarative query language to efficiently read the data or compute statistics about the data.
  • Processing millions of updates to the data from dozens of external sources every day.

Here are some typical goals/features for a datagrid which don’t apply to a database:

  • Efficiently scroll through thousands of rows by only rendering the subset that are currently visible.
  • Visual indication such as flashing when one of the cell’s values changes.
  • Allow rows and columns to be added, removed or rearranged on the fly.

It’s like asking what the difference is between a text file on your hard drive and a text editor like Notepad. They’re not even close to being the same thing.


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