A database is a structured collection of data objects [text, audio
files, graphics, videos] stored in a computer system.
Traditional databases are organized by fields, records, and files.
- A field is a single piece of information
- A record is one complete set of fields
- A file is a collection of records.
For example, a telephone book is a file. It contains a list of
records, each of which consists of three fields: name, address,
and telephone number.
Data is accessed using a query language [SQL, Structured Query
Language] to answer queries. The records retrieved represent the
answer to queries, and are information that can be used to make
The computer program used to manage and query a database is known
as a database management system (DBMS).
A typical query could be to answer questions such as, "How
many cars with additional electronic options were sold in the month
of March in region 4?".
To answer such a question, the database would have to store information
about cars sold, electronic options, sales of each electronic option,
sales date, and the region of sales.
This information is organized in a structure, described as a schema.
The schema describes the objects that are represented in the database,
and the relationships among them.
There are different ways of organizing a schema [modeling the
database structure]. These are known as database models [data models].
The most common models are:
- Relational Model - which represents all information
in the form of multiple related tables each consisting of rows
and columns. Relationships are defined by using values common
to more than one table.
- Relational Object Model
Most database systems are built around one particular data model,
although many products support more than one model.
For any one logical model various physical implementations are
possible, that have a significant effect on performance. For instance,
the relational model allows the creation of indexes which provide
fast access to rows in a table if the values of certain columns
The two most common models used are:
- Relational model
- Object model
Other database models are
used for specific purposes, and for added contextual attributes,
fuzzy logic databases are employed.
Back To Top
The World's Leading Guide To BI Strategy, Program & Technology
Database Index | Relational
Model | Object Model | Other
Models | DBMS | Contextual
Types | Microsoft SQL | Oracle
OODBMS | Data Warehouse | Teradata
ADW | Data Mart | MS
vs Teradata | Development Platforms
| ODBC | JDBC | SMP
| MPP | SN