What's the difference between a Shared Database with direct SQL connection and the Geneious Server Database?

Shared Databases provide a synchronized storage location accessible by multiple concurrent users.  Two types of Shared Databases are available in Geneious. Your Geneious license will provide access to set up a standard Shared Database using Direct SQL Connection without additional costs. A Shared Database with additional features and increased security is available to customers who have purchased a license for Geneious Server Database in addition to Geneious.

Both types of Shared Database integrate seamlessly with the local database in Geneious, with group-based access controls on folders allowing specific users read and write, read only, or no access to specific folders.  Once logged in, folders in the Shared Database are available under the Shared Databases icon in the Sources panel and files can be dragged and dropped from local folders.  

The table below summarizes the main differences between the standard Shared Database with direct SQL connection and the Geneious Server Database.  

For information on purchasing Geneious Server Database, please contact our sales team on sales@biomatters.com.



Standard Shared Database

Geneious Server Database


Operating System

No restrictions - dependent on database vendor

One of the following
○ Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7
○ CentOS 7

Database Vendors (latest tested version)

○ Microsoft SQL Server (2019)
○ PostgreSQL (13.2)
○ Oracle (19c)
○ MySQL (8.0)

○ Microsoft SQL Server (2019)
○ PostgreSQL (13.2)
○ Oracle (19c)
○ MySQL (8.0)


No restrictions - database vendor dependent.

Requires at least Dual Core CPU and 4GB RAM, but we recommend Quad Core CPU with 8GB RAM

○ Database management server (DBMS) required. It may reside on the same or a separate machine as the Geneious Server Database

○ Geneious Server Database requires similar hardware specifications to Geneious on the desktop for the same sized datasets

○ DBMS server requires at least Dual Core CPU and 4GB RAM, but we recommend Quad Core CPU with 8GB RAM


via Database User Accounts - database vendor dependent

LDAP or manually managed accounts

Internet connection

Not required

Required for license activation only


Integrate into existing authentication infrastructure such as LDAP to secure your data and simplify account management

No (LDAP integration may be possible if the database vendor supports integration with LDAP)


Connect via HTTPS which in most cases avoids the need to open up firewalls beyond the default configuration

Not possible


Only allows the server itself direct access to the underlying SQL database

No, all user machines must have direct SQL access



Store large document data on your server’s file system or network drive to improve performance and avoid the storage limitations of SQL

No (document size is limited by "blob" storage limit of SQL being used (varies) and speed can be impacted by SQL overheads)



Web based administration interface allows management of user accounts when not using LDAP

Not available


Integrate audit log on the server to record all changes to data access permissions

Not available


Managing and sharing folders

Automatic creation of a private folder group for each user

No, all groups need to be created manually


New folders created under the root have private access by default (can be configured by admin)

No, new folders are automatically shared with the user's primary group (normally everybody)


Admin can set what group new folders should belong to by default

Not possible, new folders under the root always belong to a user’s primary group


Regular i.e. non-admin users can create groups and change the group of folders themselves (admin can disable this if desired)

No, only admin users can do this

Yes, if configured

Documents cannot be stored in the root to prevent creation of a "dumping ground" (can be configured by admin)

No, all users can store documents in root

Yes, if configured




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