What is a Database?
A database is a collection of data, and it makes data management easy and organized. We can liken a database to a supermarket comprising of several shelves where different data are stored. Once you go to the supermarket, you check the shelves and select what you want. A database provides a user with the right type of information from a platform to complete an action.
Amazon, for example, has a huge database containing information about different products. A user can visit the Amazon website and extract information stored in the database. With a database, you can manipulate, store, and also present data to end-users. Databases can also you to understand how to strengthen customer relationship because are more aware of your customers’ needs
Types of Databases
There are several types of databases, and they include the following:
- Relational Databases
A relational database or relational DBMS uses tables to define database relationships. A typical example of a relational database is Oracle, Microsoft SQL, and MySQL.
- Distributed Databases
Information from local computers and the common database both contribute to form a distributed type of database. The data are distributed at different organizations for a distributed database instead of being in a single place.
- Centralized database
Data in a centralized database are stored in a centralized location so that different backgrounds of users can access the data. A centralized database makes it possible for users in a remote locations to access relevant data.
- Object-Oriented Database
With an object-oriented database, you can store all types of data that are stored as objects. Each object has methods and attributes that define the data usage. An example of an object-oriented database is PostgreSQL.
- Cloud Databases
As the name implies, Cloud databases are built for a virtual environment. the benefits of a cloud database are numerous. It is scalable on-demand, and its availability is very high. It also allows users to pay for bandwidth and storage capacity. Microsoft’s Azure uses cloud computing and cloud storing services.
- Open Source database
Open-source databases store data that are related to operations. It is primarily used in areas such as customer service, employer relations, and marketing.
- Graph databases
The use of graph theory in mapping, storing, and querying relationships defines a graph database. You can use a graph database to analyze interconnections and to mine customer data from social media.
- NoSQL Databases
NoSQL database is suitable for large distributed sets of data. It is also very efficient for large unstructured data analysis.
- Data Warehouses
A data warehouse is used in facilitating a single truth version for an organization for forecasting and making decisions. Data warehouses contain commutative data from multiple or single sources and help simplify data analysis and reporting.
- Personal Database
Personal database stores small data on PCs that can be easily managed since a small group of users access it.
Hierarchical database stores data using a parent-child relationship. Its structure is like a tree with nodes that represent records and branches that represent fields. . An example of a hierarchical type of DBMS is the windows registry in Windows XP.
- Network DBMS
A network DBMS allows many-many relations and has a complex database structure. An example of a Network DBMS is the RDM server.
- OLTP Databases
OLTP databases carry out fast query processing and maintain the integrity of data in environments with multiple access.
What Is the Structure of a Database?
As a beginner, it is essential to know the structure of a database to give you a good understanding of the database concept. A database comprises tables that are divided into columns and rows. Different categories separate the data in a table to prevent data duplication. A company can have a table for its products, employees, and customers.
The rows in a table are called records, and each of the cells is called a field or column. There are different types of data contained in a field, and they can be in the form of a date, text, or number. Constraints are rules placed in a data set to ensure accuracy and dependability. For a relational database, the tables are linked with a key that identifies a row. Individual tables use a primary key column used to match a foreign key column of another table.
Components of a Database Management System
A database management system comprises the following components:
Software is the set of programs that manage and control the overall database. Examples of this software include the operating system, application programs for accessing data in the database, network software for sharing data, etc.
Physical, electronic devices like storage devices, I/O devices, computers make up the hardware of a database management system. Hardware serves as the interface between real-world systems and computers.
DMBS Is responsible for storing, accessing, and collecting data. A database contains metadata, operational or actual data.
Procedures are instructions for a user to use the database management system. It also serves as a guide to run, design, manage and operate a database.
- Query Processor
Query Processor converts user queries into low-level instructions. It reads the query of online users and helps to translate it into series of operations that can be executed.
- Runtime database Manager
The runtime Database Manager is also called the database control system. It is the database central control software that interfaces with submitted application programs of users. It offers control for maintaining data integrity, security, and consistency.
- Database Engine
The database engine provides the main service for securing and processing data. It also provides fast transaction processing and controlled access to the requirements of applications that consume large data.
- Data Dictionary
The database is a space that is reserved within a database for storing data. A data dictionary comprises a set of views and read-only tables which provide different information about a set of data.
Benefits of a Database Management System (DBMS)
There are several outstanding benefits of having a database management system over the use of a file-based data management system. Database is highly effective just like the magic of network convergence. The outstanding benefits of DBMS include the following:
- Reduction of data redundancy
DBMS reduces data redundancy since it prevents data duplication, which is common for file-based data management systems.
- Efficient Data Sharing
A database Management System allows for efficient data sharing among users. It is designed with different authorization levels, and a user can only access data if that user has the authorization to do so. Different users can remotely access the database at the same time and share data with ease.
- Data Integrity
Data Integrity refers to the consistency and accuracy of data. Since a DBMS can contain multiple databases, the integrity of the database management system is paramount.
- Data Security
A DBMS provides adequate data security for users. It should only allow authorizing persons to access the database while authenticating their identity with their password and username.
A DBMS should protect users’ data while allowing only authorized users to access the database. The privacy or access constraints may be different for different accounts a social media user may be trying to access.
- Recovery and Backup
A database management system is effective for data recovery and backup. A user does not have to carry out periodical backup because the database management system takes Care of that. If there is a system failure or crash, the database is restored to its previous condition.
What is SQL
Structured Query Language or SQL can be used for communication with a database. SQL is a standard language that is used for a relational type of database management system. You can use SQL statements to carry out different tasks such as updating and retrieving data from a database. Several database management systems use SQL.
Some of this DBMS include Sybase, Ingres, Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, etc. Most of these DBMS systems that use SQL also have their proprietary extensions, which can only work on their system.
SQL has standard commands such as Drop, Create, Update, Insert, Delete, and Select. With SQL, you can carry out almost any type of function in a database.
Steps to Design a Database Management System
To effectively design a database as a beginner, you may have to follow these steps:
- Find out the purpose of your database
The first step is to find out why you want to create the database, as this will help you create the database in line with your needs.
- Source and organize the required information
Get all the relevant information you will like to have in your database. This information may include the order number, product name, etc.
- Categorize the information into tables
You can divide the information into subjects or major entities like orders or products.
- Put the information into columns.
You can have fields or columns for each table like employees’ names which may come with last name, first name, etc.
- Specify primary keys
Select the primary key of each table. A unique column that identifies each row is called a primary key like Order or Products ID.
- Set up your database table relationship
Find out how the data in a table relates with data in another table.
- Refine your database design
Check if there are errors in your database design and make adjustments where necessary.
- Apply the rules of normalization
Data normalization rules allow you to structure your tables correctly
The database is the core Engine of your business, and it is very important to help you plan your business to meet your customers’ needs. Designing a database is not complicated if you understand the basics, and we hope this article gives a simplified view of a database management system.