´╗┐´╗┐Relational Databases / What is a Database

What is a Database

Database is a collection of documents, cross-references between documents and system for searching, storing and editing data in collection of documents. Database can be a library but when we say database, we usually think about computerised database for collecting and storing data.

Electronic databases were invented due to the need for rapid access to information. You are probably familiar or you at least heard about Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software? Well, databases work in a similar way. Each table in the database consists of columns and rows. Columns receive attributes and rows receive records.

To make it easier to understand let’s build an imaginative database of your books collection.

We will make three columns:

What we enter into rows of particular column is pretty much self-explanatory.

Flat and Relational Database

Before the invention of relational database, databases were flat. Flat means that they were stored in text format. Information was separated with tabs or special characters and it was difficult to effectively search for information. An end to flat file databases came in 1970 when Edgar Frank Codd invented relational database. It was pretty much revolutionary since all data was now available quickly and efficiently. One of the advantages of the modern relational databases is that new information can be stored in the database without tables reorganisation. The most widely used and accepted standard for relational database language today is SQL - Structured Query Language.