What is a database? | Definition of TechTarget (2023)

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  • Ben Lutkovic,Technical Feature Writer
  • Adam Hughes

What is a database?

A database is information set up for easy access, management and updating. Computer databases usually storedataRecords or documents that contain information such as sales transactions, customer data, financial and product information.

Databases are used to store, maintain and access any kind of data. They gather information about people, places or things. This information is collected in one place so that it can be observed and analyzed. A database can be thought of as an organized collection of information.

What is a database for?

Businesses use data stored in databases to make informed business decisions. Some of the ways organizations use databases include:

  • Improve business processes.The company collects data aboutBusiness Process, such as sales, order processing, and customer service. They analyze this data to improve these processes, expand their business and increase revenue.
  • Track customers.Databases typically store information about people, such as customers or users. For example,social mediaPlatforms use databases to store user information such as names, email addresses, and user behavior. Data is used to recommend content to users and improveuser experience.
  • Protect personal health information.Healthcare providers use databases to securely storepersonal health dataInform and improve patient care.
  • Store personal data.Databases may also be used to store personal information. For example, personalcloud storageAllows individual users to store media, such as photos, in a hosted cloud.

Evolution of the database

The database was first created in the 1960s. These early databases were network models, where each record was related to many primary and secondary records. Hierarchical databases were also one of the early models. They have a tree-like schema with a root directory of records linked to multiple subdirectories.

(Video) What is a Relational Database? What is a Relational Database Used For?

Relational databases were developed in the 1970s.object-oriented databaseThen came the 1980s. Today, we use Structured Query Language (database),no SQLandcloud database.

E.F. Codd created relational databases while at IBM. It became the standard for database systems because of its logical schema or organization. The use of logical schemas separates relational databases from physical storage.

Relational databases combined with the growth of the Internet starting in the mid-1990s led to a proliferation of databases. Many business and consumer applications rely on databases.

database type

There are many types of databases. They can be categorized by content type: bibliographic, full text, digital and image. In computing, databases are often classified by the method of organization they use.

Some major organizational databases include:

(Video) What is a Cloud Database? Cloud vs. On-Premises Databases

relation.This tabular approach defines the data so it can be reorganized and accessed in a variety of ways. A relational database consists of tables. Data is placed in predefined categories within these tables. Each table has columns containing at least one category of data, and rows containing specific data instances of the category defined in the column. Information about a particular customer in a relational database is organized into rows, columns, and tables. These are indexed for easier searching using SQL or NoSQL queries.

A relational database in its users andAPI.New data categories can be easily added to a relational database without changing existing applications. A relational database management system (RDBMS) is used to store, manage, query and retrieve data in relational databases.

Typically, an RDBMS enables users to control read/write access, specify report generation, and use for analytics. Some databases provide atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability, oracid, compliance to ensure data consistency and transaction integrity.

decentralized.The database stores records or files in multiple physical locations. Data processing is also distributed and replicated across different parts of the network.

Distributed databaseCan be homogeneous, where all physical locations have the same underlying hardware and run the same operating system and database applications. They can also be heterogeneous. In these cases, the hardware, operating systems, and database applications may differ from location to location.

(Video) What is a NoSQL (Not Only SQL) Database?

cloud.These databases are built in public, private, or hybrid clouds forvirtualization environment.Based on the amount of storage and bandwidth used by the user to charge the user. They also get on-demand scaling and high availability.These databases can be deployed withsoftware as a service.

There is no SQL.NoSQL databases are very useful when dealing with large amounts of distributed data. They can solve big data performance problems better than relational databases. They also do a good job of analyzing largeunstructuredDatasets and Datavirtual serverIn the clouds. These databases can also be referred to as non-relational databases.

object-oriented.These databases hold data created usingObject-Oriented Programminglanguage.They focus on organizing objects rather than actions and data rather than logic. For example, an image data record would be a data object rather than an alphanumeric value.

graphics.These databases are a type of NoSQL database. They store, map, and query relationships using concepts from graph theory. A graph database consists of nodes and edges. Nodes are entities and connect nodes.

These databases areTypically used to analyze interconnect.Graph databases are often used to analyze data from customers as they interact with businesses on web pages and social media.

Graph database usageSPARQL, Adeclarative programmingLanguage and protocol, used for analysis. SPARQL can perform all the analysis that SQL can and can also be used for semantic analysis or relational checking. This is useful for performing analysis on datasets that have bothstructuredand unstructured data. SPARQL allows users to perform analytics on information stored in relational databases as well as friends-of-friends, PageRank, and shortest paths.

(Video) What is a Columnar Database?

What is a database? | Definition of TechTarget (1)

What are the components of a database?

While different types of databases differ in their schema, data structures, and the types of data that work best for them, they all consist of the same five basic components.

  1. hardware.This is the physical device that runs the database software. Database hardware includes computers, servers, and hard drives.
  2. software.Database software or applications allow users to control databases. Database management system (DBMS) software is used to manage and control databases.
  3. data.This is the raw information stored by the database.database administratorOrganize data to make more sense.
  4. Data Access Language.This is the programming language that controls the database. Programming languages ​​and DBMSs must work together. SQL is one of the most common database languages.
  5. program.These rules determine how the database works and handles data.

What is a database challenge?

There are some common challenges to setting up, operating and maintaining a database, such as:

  • Data SecurityIt is needed because data is a valuable business asset.Secure data storageNeed to be skilledcyber securityStaff, this can be costly.
  • data integrityMake sure the data is credible. It's not always easy to achievedata integrityBecause that means only those who are qualified to handle it will have access to the database.
  • database performanceThe database needs to be updated and maintained regularly. Without proper support, database functionality may degrade as the technology supporting the database changes or the data it contains changes.
  • database integrationIt can also be difficult. it can involveIntegrate data sourcesfrom different types of databases and structures to a single database or toData Lakes and Data Warehouses.
What is a database? | Definition of TechTarget (2)

What is a Database Management System?

A DBMS enables users to create and manage databases. It also helps users create, read, update and delete data in the database and assistsRecordand audit functions.

DBMS provides physical and logical independence from data. Users and applications do not need to know the physical or logical location of the data. A DBMS can also restrict and control access to a database and provide multiple users with different views of the same database schema.

learn more aboutData Management StatusToday and how databases fit in.

This was last updated onFebruary 2023

(Video) What is a Graph Database? What is it Used For?

Continue reading About Databases (DB)

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What is a database? | Definition of TechTarget? ›

A database is information that is set up for easy access, management and updating. Computer databases typically store aggregations of data records or files that contain information, such as sales transactions, customer data, financials and product information.

What are databases in technology? ›

A database is an organized collection of structured information, or data, typically stored electronically in a computer system. A database is usually controlled by a database management system (DBMS).

What are the 4 types of database? ›

There are four kinds of this database: document databases, key-value stores, column-oriented databases, and graph databases.

What is an example of a database? ›

MySQL, SQL Server, MongoDB, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, Informix, Sybase, and others are all different types of databases commonly used today. These modern databases are managed by a Database Management System (DBMS).

What is a database in Access? ›

A database is a tool for collecting and organizing information. Databases can store information about people, products, orders, or anything else. Many databases start as a list in a word-processing program or spreadsheet.

What are the 3 main databases? ›

Below are some common types of databases: Centralized database. Cloud database. Commercial database.

Is Excel considered a database? ›

Excel is not database — it is spreadsheet software. Even though many users try to force it to function like a database, its limitations in that regard are considerable. Starting with the most obvious, Excel is limited to 1M rows of data, while databases don't suffer from such restrictions.

What is the most commonly used type of database? ›

Relational Databases

These are the most widely used type of databases, and they store data in tables that are related to each other through common keys or indexes. Examples of relational databases include MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.

Which database is widely used? ›

  • MySQL. In 1995, two Software Engineers, Michael Widenius and David Axmark, created the Open Source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) MySQL. ...
  • Oracle. When Edgar F. ...
  • PostgreSQL. ...
  • Microsoft SQL Server. ...
  • MongoDB. ...
  • Redis. ...
  • Elasticsearch. ...
  • Cassandra.

What is database in simple words? ›

A database is an organized collection of structured information, or data, typically stored electronically in a computer system. A database is usually controlled by a database management system (DBMS).

Is Google Drive a database? ›

You can store your data in Google Drive, but you cannot access it using database providers, like ADO.NET, SQL Server, MySql, ... You're clients would have to download the file, and use it locally.

Is Microsoft Office a database? ›

Microsoft Access is a well-known database management system produced by Microsoft and is part of the Microsoft 365 office suite. Microsoft Access combines Microsoft's relational Jet Database Engine with software development tools and a graphic user interface (GUI).

What is the difference between a database and a spreadsheet? ›

Spreadsheets are computer programs that arrange data in a series of rows and columns. Data is stored in individual cells of this electronic document. Spreadsheets are often compared to electronic ledgers. Databases gather information from external tables, instead of storing data in individual cells.

Why do we need a database? ›

Databases support good data access because: Large volumes of data can be stored in one place. Multiple users can read and modify the data at the same time. Databases are searchable and sortable, so the data you need can be found quick and easily.

What is the simplest form of a database? ›

Text databases - the simplest type of database where data is organized in a text file by rows and columns and includes lists such as names, important dates, locations, etc.

What are the two most common types of databases? ›

Databases typically have one of two basic forms:
  • single-file or flat file database.
  • multi-file relational or structured database.

How can I create a database? ›

Right-click Databases, and then select New Database. In New Database, enter a database name. To create the database by accepting all default values, select OK; otherwise, continue with the following optional steps. To change the owner name, select (...) to select another owner.

What is a personal database? ›

Definition. Personal database system is the local database system which is only for one user to store and manage the data and information on their own personal system. There are number of applications are used in local computer to design and managed personal database system.

What are the few popular databases? ›

Which is best Database for web applications In 2022?
  • The Oracle.
  • MySQL.
  • MS SQL Server.
  • PostgreSQL.
  • MongoDB.
  • IBM DB2.
  • Redis.
  • Elasticsearch.

What are the largest known databases? ›

If you're researching a topic and cannot find the right information on the internet, the largest database in the world, the Library of Congress should be your destination of choice. For users researching U.S. history, around 5 million pieces from the LC's collection can be found online at American Memory.

Is Google Sheets a database? ›

Google Sheets, among other spreadsheet apps, has a number of great advantages as a database: Connectivity: Google Sheets is a web application, which means that is available online. There is no way to lose your files, thus your database is safely stored in Google's cloud.

What is not a database? ›

A spreadsheet is not a database. They look similar, and they are both great ways to store information, but there are three primary differences between the two: How the data is stored and interacted with. Who can access the data. How much data can be stored.

What database is Microsoft? ›

Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) from Microsoft that combines the relational Access Database Engine (ACE) with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It is a member of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, included in the Professional and higher editions or sold separately.

What is Google's database called? ›

Google Cloud provides a unified, open, and intelligent Data Cloud for all your operational and analytical data.

What database does Amazon use? ›

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. It's a fully managed, multiregion, multimaster database with built-in security, backup and restore, and in-memory caching for internet-scale applications.

What is the most used database in 2023? ›

As of February 2023, the most popular database management system (DBMS) in the world was Oracle, with a ranking score of 1247.52; MySQL and Microsoft SQL server rounded out the top three.

What is the most secure database? ›

Top 10 Database Security Software
  • Oracle Data Safe.
  • Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall.
  • McAfee Vulnerability Manager for Databases.
  • Oracle Data Masking and Subsetting.
  • Oracle Advanced Security.
  • SQL Secure.
  • McAfee Data Center Security Suite for Databases.
  • HashiCorp Vault.
Jun 13, 2023

What database does Facebook use? ›

What database does Facebook use? If you need a quick answer here it is: MySQL is the primary database used by Facebook for storing all social data. They started with the InnoDB MySQL database engine and then wrote MyRocksDB, which was eventually used as the MySQL Database engine.

What databases do most companies use? ›

Top 10 Relational Databases for Enterprise Businesses
  • Oracle Database.
  • MS SQL.
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
  • SAP HANA Cloud.
  • Cloud SQL.
  • Azure SQL Database.
  • MySQL.
  • IBM Db2.
6 days ago

What is an example of a database in real life? ›

Your grocery store, bank, restaurant, online shopping sites, hospital, favorite clothing store and mobile service provider, for instance all use databases to keep track of customer, inventory, employee and accounting information.

What is another word database? ›

synonyms for database

On this page you'll find 5 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to database, such as: table, bibliography, directory, and index.

Is database a software? ›

Database software is software that is designed to create databases and to store, manage, search, and extract the information contained within them.

Does Google offer a free database? ›

Unlike more complex database management systems (DBMS) — PostgreSQL and MySQL —, Google is flexible, it doesn't require installation, it lets you store a decent amount of data, and it's free.

What database does Netflix use? ›

First they got on AWS. Then, in 2014, they adopted (and popularized!) Cassandra to support their need for global replication. In this two-part presentation, Shengwei Wang and Shahar Zimmerman (both Senior Software Engineers), explain why Netflix has adopted CockroachDB and how they're deploying it.

How do you use a spreadsheet as a database? ›

How to Create a Database in Excel
  1. Step 1: Set up a data spreadsheet framework. Open an Excel spreadsheet, place your cursor in the A1 cell, and type in your database title. ...
  2. Step 2: Add or import data. ...
  3. Step 3: Convert your data into a table. ...
  4. Step 4: Format the table. ...
  5. Step 5: Save your database spreadsheet.
Sep 12, 2022

Is Outlook a database? ›

Outlook for Mac stores emails and other mailbox items as an SQLite database. It also provides a native method to archive the data in an OLM file.

Which database software is best? ›

Here are 25 of the best database management softwares (DBMS) that can help your business with productivity and the realization of its true potential:
  • 1 Improvado.
  • 2 Microsoft SQL Server.
  • 3 Postgre SQL.
  • 4 My SQL.
  • 5 Amazon RDS.
  • 6 Oracle RDBMS.
  • 7 Razor SQL.
  • 9 SQL Developer.
Jun 5, 2023

Is Outlook a database application? ›

Outlook maintains tables in its own databases of all your emails, contacts, tasks, and calendar events.

Can I use Excel like a database? ›

Excel is a tabular tool, so the best layout is a database table. All you need to do is create the columns and rows, which will act as the database field and then enter data. Once your data is in, you can search the database, review your information and even summarise data.

Why Excel is not used as database? ›

The software itself is highly manual and extremely unwieldy. Although you can track, sort and filter data to a certain extent, Excel lacks the far more specialized data analytics, manipulation and filtering that proper relational databases have.

Why would someone use a database over a spreadsheet? ›

Bottomline, databases are more efficient than spreadsheets. They can store nearly unlimited amounts of data that would bog down any spreadsheet. Instead of being limited to use by only one user at a time, databases can be concurrently used by multiple users at a time, making collaboration possible.

What are the 4 main objects of a database? ›

All of these items — tables, queries, forms, and reports — are database objects.

Does Microsoft Access still exist? ›

Microsoft Access 2021 is the latest version of Access available as a one-time purchase.

Why is Access better than Excel? ›

In general, Access is better for managing data: helping you keep it organized, easy to search, and available to multiple simultaneous users. Excel is generally better for analyzing data: performing complex calculations, exploring possible outcomes, and producing high quality charts.

What are 6 examples of database software? ›

MariaDB license: GPL version 2.
  • Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft SQL Server is a commercial relational database management system. ...
  • Oracle DBMS. Oracle DBMS is a commercial, multi-model database management system. ...
  • PostgreSQL. ...
  • MongoDB. ...
  • Redis. ...
  • IBM DB2. ...
  • Elasticsearch. ...
  • SQLite.

Is SQL is a database? ›

Structured query language (SQL) is a programming language for storing and processing information in a relational database. A relational database stores information in tabular form, with rows and columns representing different data attributes and the various relationships between the data values.

What is the difference between a spreadsheet and a database? ›

Spreadsheets are computer programs that arrange data in a series of rows and columns. Data is stored in individual cells of this electronic document. Spreadsheets are often compared to electronic ledgers. Databases gather information from external tables, instead of storing data in individual cells.

Which database is mostly used? ›

The most popular database in the world is Oracle according to DB-Engine ranking. Oracle is followed by MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB in the ranking.

What is the most common type of database used with? ›

Relational Databases

These are the most widely used type of databases, and they store data in tables that are related to each other through common keys or indexes. Examples of relational databases include MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.

What are four real life example of database? ›

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and iCloud are just some examples of personal cloud storage services available to you. All of them use complex data models and powerful data warehouses to ensure your data is stored securely and is available to be called upon at a moment's notice, regardless of where you are.

Is there any free database? ›

Is there any free database? MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and MongoDB are free database software that you can use for managing the details of your project.


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