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What is a Database
United States - Denver
So you may ask yourself, What is a Database? Hopefully your a first year computer science student and i your in need of an overview of databases and their in the world of IT. Well this article is exactly that.

What is a Database?

For the technical definition, A database is a collection of data that is managed by some process or software. There are various type of databases, we will only be focusing on the kind used in computer software. A (DBMS) Database management system is a software program or package that aids a programmer of database administrator in managing all the data within the database.

Why do we need databases.

In the old days, it was probably a good idea to store information in a filing cabinet [Some businesses still use this type of storage]. The files would be labelled from A to Z and stored in some logical fashion as to allow a clerk to find the imformation fairly quickly. Now with the current digital age, most businesses have found that a database could be stored on their computers, they could have some software program written by a programmer that could store, edit and print data all located centrally in some type of relational database.

Type of Databases

There are various types of database one could use to solve any number of problems, To be correct we will call these software packages DBMS as discussed earlier. Microsoft Access is great for small and medium sized programs, it can be put on a clients machine locally and is very easy to maintain.

With the advent of Client / Server architecture there was a need for better DBMS. Companies could now all access a database on a central server and make requests or queries [questions] to the RDMS located on the server. This would make data faster to access and more convenient to control. Some great Client /Server Databases are MySQL, Microsoft SQL server, Oracle and Sybase. All these databases use the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard to communicate.

Databases are fast

Databases come with the ability to index, this means you could search through a million records and find a match in 2 seconds, Thats a bit faster than the old filing cabinet hey. Data clustering, View and object replication can all be setup to improve performance of multiple users trying to access the same database object.

Creating a database

With some knowledge of structure and a bit of practice you can learn to create a database for your own business. If its all a bit over your head, there are plenty of programmers and web developers available that can help your business create a valuable asset to your business.

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