Perhaps you are starting a business, and you want to understand the science behind the databases and its significance; you are in the right place. In its most basic form, a database is an advanced spreadsheet with data in its column and rows. But the resemblance between databases and spreadsheet ends there since a database is much more expansive.
What is a Database?
A database is essentially a collection of records that are processed to produce useful data. Data stored in a database can be accessed, modified, and controlled to suit various user preferences efficiently. As much as there are different types of databases, the working principle is essentially the same. Here are some common types of databases:
- Centralized Database: As the name suggests, data stored in this type of database is stored in a centralized location. Users from a different location can, therefore, access the data by using different authentication procedures.
- Distributed Database: Unlike a centralized database, a distributed database accepts contributions from several local computers or sites. The data is not at one place, but it is shared across several interconnected sites. This means that the distributed data can also be accessed from each site within the network.
- Commercial Databases: This database is designed to cater to the interests of the users in a commercial venture. This database contains information that the users need, but they would not individually be able to afford to maintain the database.
- Personal Databases: These types of databases are primarily kept on personal computers. They are often used to store information needed by a limited number of users working together.
The types of databases are vast. In enterprise applications, databases are used to store sensitive information. As much as businesses are served with plenty of free options, they also need to invest in technological solutions to help them store, secure, and process data. This technology is referred to as a database management system.
Database Management Systems
As mentioned earlier, a database management system (DBMS) is the technology used to manage and optimize the storage and retrieval of data in a database. This system gives the database a broad range of functions. For instance, the database acquires full searching functions, allows for bulk record updates, improves cross-referencing abilities, and most importantly, it allows for consistency and data integrity.
Ideally, DBMS systems are designed to solve fundamental teething problems associated with the storage, management, and accessing data. Technological advances in BDMS has optimized data storage processes. For a data-driven organization, for instance, DBMS can turn out to be a completely different process which might require dedicated resources and a competent in-house team.
There are many database platforms on the market. Some common examples of database platform include Microsoft Access, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. Your data storage needs often inform the choice of a database.