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What is a Database? Definition, Types and Components

Published on Oct 16,2019 291 Views
1 / 37 Blog from Introduction to SQL

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Data is information and to organize this data, you require a Database. This article on What is a Database will help you understand the definition, the different types, their advantages and disadvantages.

Following topics are covered:

So, let’s begin!

What is Data?

Data is a collection of a distinct unit of information. This “data” is used in a variety of forms of text, numbers, media and many more. Talking in terms of computing. Data is basically information that can be translated into a particular form for efficient movement and processing.

Example: Name, age, weight, height, etc.

Now, let’s move on to the next topic and understand what is a Database.

What is a Database?

Database- What is a Database-EdurekaThe database is an organized collection of structured data to make it easily accessible, manageable and update. In simple words, you can say, a database in a place where the data is stored. The best analogy is the library. The library contains a huge collection of books of different genres, here the library is database and books are the data.

In layman terms, consider your school registry. All the details of the students are entered in a single file. You get the details regarding the students in this file. This is called a Database where you can access the information of any student.

Facts about Database:

  • Databases have evolved dramatically since their inception in the early 1960s.
  • Some Navigational databases such as the Hierarchical database and the Network database were the original systems used to store and manipulate data. Although these early systems were actually inflexible
  • In the early 1980s, Relational databases became very popular, which was followed by object-oriented databases later on. 
  • More recently, NoSQL databases came up as a response to the growth of the internet and the need for faster speed and processing of unstructured data.
  • Today, we have cloud databases and self-driving databases that are creating a new ground when it comes to how data is collected, stored, managed, and utilized.

Note: Data is interchangeable.

Let’s see how to create a Database.

How to Create a database?

We use the CREATE DATABASE statement to create a new database. 

Syntax:

CREATE DATABASE databasename;

Example:

 CREATE DATABASE College

So the database of name College will be created.

This is how simple you can create a Database.

Database Components

The major components of the Database are:

  • Hardware

This consists of a set of physical electronic devices such as I/O devices, storage devices and many more. It also provides an interface between computers and real-world systems.

  • Software

This is the set of programs that are used to control and manage the overall Database. It also includes the DBMS software itself. The Operating System, the network software being used to share the data among the users, the application programs used to access data in the DBMS.

  • Data

Database Management System collects, stores, processes, and accesses data. The Database holds both the actual or operational data and the metadata.

  • Procedure

These are the rules and instructions on how to use the Database in order to design and run the DBMS, to guide the users that operate and manage it.

  • Database Access Language

It is used to access the data to and from the database. In order to enter new data, updating, or retrieving requires data from databases. You can write a set of appropriate commands in the database access language, submit these to the DBMS, which then processes the data and generates it, displays a set of results into a user-readable form.

Now that you guys have understood how to create a database, let’s move ahead and understand the types.

Types of Database

There are a few types that are very important and popular.

These are the major types of Databases available. Now, let’s move on to the next topic.

Database Management System (DBMS)

A Database Management System (DBMS) is a software that is used to manage the Database. It receives instruction from a Database Administrator (DBA) and accordingly instructs the system to make the corresponding changes. These commands are used to load, retrieve or modify existing data from the system.

A database typically requires a comprehensive Database software program known as a Database Management System (DBMS). A DBMS basically serves as an interface between the database and its end-users or programs, allowing users to retrieve, update, and manage how the information is organized and optimized. A DBMS also facilitates oversight and control of databases, enabling a variety of administrative operations such as performance monitoring, tuning, and backup and recovery.

What is SQL?

Structured Query language SQL is pronounced as “S-Q-L” or sometimes as “See-Quel”  which is the standard language for dealing with Relational Databases.

It is effectively used to insert, search, update, delete, modify database records. It doesn’t mean SQL cannot do things beyond that. In fact, it can do a lot more other things as well. SQL is regularly used not only by database administrators but also by the developers to write data integration scripts and data analysts

Now that you guys have understood what is SQL, let’s move on and understand the advantages of using the Database.

Advantages

  • Reduced data redundancy.
  • Also, there is reduced updating errors and increased consistency.
  • Easier data integrity from application programs.
  • Improved data access to users through the use of host and query languages.
  • Data security is also improved.
  • Reduced data entry, storage, and retrieval costs.

Disadvantages

  • Complexity: Databases are complex hardware and software systems.
  • Cost: It requires significant upfront and ongoing financial resources.
  • Security: Most leading companies need to know that their Database systems can securely store data, including sensitive employee and customer information.
  • Compatibility: There is a risk that a DBMS might not be compatible with a company’s operational requirements. 

With this, we come to the end of this article on “What is a Database”. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

If you wish to learn more about MySQL and get to know this open-source relational database, then check out our MySQL DBA Certification Training which comes with instructor-led live training and real-life project experience. This training will help you understand MySQL in-depth and help you achieve mastery over the subject.

Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of ”What is a Database” and I will get back to you.

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