Spreadsheet and database both store sets of data. However, each one has advantages and disadvantages and is suited to specific use cases.

A spreadsheet represents a digital worksheet and was invented for accounting tasks. In a spreadsheet, data is stored in a flat structure consisting of rows and columns, also known as tabular format. Spreadsheets are simple to use and require no technical knowledge. Because a spreadsheet is flexible and doesn't have a data schema, any value can be entered in any cell. The drawback of this flexibility is the lack of data schema. Spreadsheets cannot be used safely as a source of data for other applications as they cannot provide a strict structure. Finally, spreadsheets are designed to handle a limited volume of data.

In databases, data is stored in tables, which have a defined structure. This data structure describes for each table, the attributes and data types expected. For example, attributes can be text, date, text, or relationship to another table. This data structure adds constraints and triggers errors directly when inserting a new record in the database. Thanks to this strict structure, other applications can rely on the data provided by a database. Unlike spreadsheets, databases are better for storing large amounts of data and when several users or applications access the data simultaneously.