What is database, its types, and Pros &Cons

What is Database, its Types, and Pros & Cons?

The database is a well organized, and structured collection of data. In simple, you call it DB. A database is actually built and maintained using a database programming language. The main aim of DB is to deal with a large amount of data by storing, managing and retrieving. 

Nowadays databases are managed using a Database Management System(DBMS).  The database actually represents a table consists of several columns and rows, where each column has a specific attribute and each row specifies a certain value for the corresponding attribute.

The number of columns depends on the number of categories/types of information that is to be stored within a database, whereas the number of rows is based on the quantity of the object. With this simple organization, the computer program can easily select and handle the necessary information.  

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Some common examples of the database in day-to-day life are Online telephone directory, Facebook, Files on your computer hard drive, airline reservation system etc. Database is almost used for every business for storing and accessing their content easily. It plays an important role in eCommerce website and other types of dynamic websites.

Database Management System

The communication link between the databases and the computer programs is stated as DBMS. It then represents a set of software programs that collect all the data requests from the application program and then instruct the operating system on how to handle the requested information.

There are several control operations to perform such as storing, deleting, retrieving, or organizing the data in the database. All the actions can be performed using a particular SQL commands. It allows even the users to add new data to the database without affecting the system. There are many different DBMS available today such as SQL, MySQL, Sybase, Oracle, MongoDB, Informix, Postgre, dBase, FileMaker, RDBMS, FoxPro etc.

Advantages of DBMS

  • Improved data security
  • Better data integration
  • Improved data access
  • Improved data sharing
  • Increased end-user productivity
  • Improved decision making
  • Minimized data inconsistency

Characteristics of DBMS

  • Reduced Redundancy
  • Normalization
  • Data stored in tables
  • Data consistency
  • Query language
  • Security
  • Transactions
  • Support multiple user and concurrent access
  • Reduced updating errors and increased consistency
  • Greater data integrity and independence from application programs
  • A conflicting requirement can be handled

Types of a database management system

There are nearly four types of DBMS. they are

  • Hierarchical databases
  • Network databases
  • Relational databases
  • Object-oriented databases

Hierarchical databases

A database is said to be hierarchical where the data elements have a one-to-many relationship(1: N). The database model of hierarchy uses a tree structure with one single primary record(The root of the tree). The records in this database contain information about a group of parent-child relationships.

The records here are connected through links. This database model can be used only for certain type of data storage, and it not extremely versatile. The data follows a series of records, the set of records attached to it.  Examples of hierarchical databases are IMS, Windows registry.

A database is said to be a network if multiple member records or files are linked to multiple owner files and vice versa. Network database supports many-to-many relationship and viewed as an interconnected network of records.

It can be stated like a single element can point to multiple data elements and can be pointed to itself by multiple data elements. It allows each record to have multiple parents as well as multiple child records. The hierarchical model is a subset of a network model. Examples of network databases are IMAGE(HP), CA-IDMS.

Relational databases(RDBMS)

A database is said to be a relational database or RDBMS if the data is stored in the form of tables, using rows and columns. This method is easy to locate and access the data within the database.

It is called relational because the data within each table are related to each other. The tables or files are called tuples, the rows are called records, and the columns are called attributes. Each table will have a key to identify each record.  This model is very helpful in retrieving data from multiple tables simultaneously.

The RDBMS is most popular and currently being used. The data is stored in a fixed predefined structure and is manipulating using Structured Query Language(SQL). Examples of RDBMS include MySQL, Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, Ingress, Informix etc.

Object-oriented databases(OODBMS)

An object-oriented database is advanced of all other databases. The information stored here will be in the form of the object as used in object-oriented programming. It will add all the database functionalities to object-oriented programming.

Other databases will handle structured data, whereas OODBMS handles many new data types such as audio, video, photographs, object, graphics etc. it uses small, reusable chunks of software called object. Each object has two types of elements such

  • A piece of data
  • Instructions or a software program called methods, for what to do with the data

This database is more powerful compared to all other databases. It is very easy to represent and the information can be accessed very easily and quickly.

Disadvantages of DBMS

  • Management complexity
  • Increased cost
  • Frequent upgrade/replacement cycles
  • Complex and time consuming to design
  • Initial training required for both programmers and users

Conclusion

Nowadays database is essential for any online store in order to access their data. It’s not a difficult task to set up a database, you just need some knowledge to work and handle with the database.

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Prabhu Ganesan has provided his Web development and SEO services independently. He is Co-founder of Webicle Media and WPBlogX. He is very much involved in WordPress as it becomes a second nature for him. Find him on twitter @gprabhucbe

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