What is Database? An Easy Guide In 5 Points


  1. What is Data?
  2. What is Database?
  3. Types of Databases
  4. Database Components
  5. Evolution of Databases

1) What is Data?

In an introduction to database, data can be of two types namely non-relational data and relational data. Most modern applications use huge volumes of data of both kinds. The first kind of data is non-relational data or database examples of data stored in files, where such data is not uniquely related to the other data and typically has a string value. Relational data on the other hand is always related to the other data elements. 

2) What is Database?

What do you mean by database? Database meaning is defined as a data set/systematic collection of data. A database is a collection of data stored in a computer and structured to keep the data in a form and place that is easily accessible to users of the database who wish to exploit the uses of the database. Thus data management/purpose of the database is easy when one understands what is database since it supports manipulation of data and electronic storage. Data can be organized into files or into tables with columns, rows and index to make it easy to find and define a database.

Since databases are used to manage, retrieve and handle data in real-time many sites on the World Wide Web are dynamic and use databases. Some of the popular databases use SQL queries where SQL means Structured Query Language. SQL the DBMS- database management system uses tuple relational calculus and relational algebra with a cylindrical structure to display the database image. Some of the popular versions used today are MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Informix, SQL Server, etc. 

3) Types of Databases

There can be several types of databases answering questions like how many types of database, what is a database and how to store data in a database which are briefly discussed below.

  • Distributed databases: 
  • This type of database uses both the information locally captured and the common database. Such database systems do not store all data in one place. Rather it is distributed over several organizations and hence the name.
  • Relational databases:
  • Relational databases like the RDBMS- Relational Data Base Management System use and define the database relationships using a table form. Very popular for its storage, zero data redundancy and ease of retrieval, there are several RDBMS like MySQL, Microsoft’s SQL Server database, Oracle’s Oracle DB etc in use today. 
  • Object-oriented databases:
  • Here the database can support the data storage of all kinds and types of data typically stored as objects. Such objects in the database have methods, defined rules and attributes instructing them on the query meaning in the database and what to do with the provided data. For Ex: PostgreSQL is an object-oriented RDBMS.
  • Centralized database:
  • This multiple user database uses a centralized location to store data that can be accessed by users with varied backgrounds. The database in a remote location has a specific application procedure to help worldwide access the data. For Ex: Applying for a US visa from any part of the world.
  • Open-source databases:
  • This database is an operational database containing codes and is application-oriented. For Ex: Applications in fields like marketing (SalesForce), HR applications etc. 
  • Cloud databases:
  • A cloud database is an optimized database built and stored for virtual environments. They provide many advantages like easy availability, paid bandwidth, storage capacity etc and are scalable on-demand. Ex: Security applications from Imperva.
  • Data warehouses:
  •  A Data Warehouse is a database used in decision making and facilitates a single version of truth for companies involved in forecasting with a need for a database.
  • NoSQL databases:
  • NoSQL database is used when distributed data is the source and large sets need to be ingested. RDBMS does a fine job and can handle large-size unstructured data as well as relational databases used in analysis, retrieval and reporting functions.
  • Graph databases:
  • A graph-theory based database can store, query and map relationships effectively. For Ex: Mining of customer base from social media.
  • OLTP databases:
  • OLTP is a type of database that maintains data integrity even when it performs quick query processing in multi-access environments.
  • Personal database:
  • A personal database is typically a personal computer that stores data on it and is easy to manage while being used by multiple users.
  • Multimodal database:
  • The multimodal database is a processing platform that uses multiple data models and has information and defines how particular information is to be arranged and organized on it. 
  • Document/JSON database:
  • The JSON document-oriented database has data in document collections using the types of database languages like JSON, XML, BSON etc formats. 
  • Hierarchical:
  • This database shares a “parent-child” relationship when storing data and has a structure resembling a tree with multiple nodes for records and branches for its fields. Ex: The windows registry in Windows XP.
  • Network DBMS:
  • Network DBMS supports many-to-many hierarchical relations and has a complex database structure. Ex: RDMS.

4) Database Components

What is a database component? Every database has 5 essential components.

  • Hardware: This is the external and physical components interfacing the system like electronic devices, storage devices, I/O devices, etc. 
  • Software: This contains the set of programs used to control and manage the overall database and includes the OS, network software, and application programs.
  • Data: Data is raw, to be processed and unorganized facts that require to be processed to become meaningful. It contains facts, perceptions, observations, numbers, symbols, characters, images, etc.
  • Procedure: This is a set of rules and instructions to use the DBMS. It has a documented methodology for those who manage and use it.
  • Database Access Language: All operations on the database are performed using specific language and commands to the database that executes the commands. Ex: SQL.

5) Evolution of Databases

What is the database’s hierarchal organization of data turning into a database concept management system started in the 1960s? The first known IDS- Integrated Data Store is credited to Charles Bachman in the year 1960. The technology, usage and functionalities evolved quickly and in 1970 the IMS- or IBM’s Information Management System by Codd was introduced. In 1976 Peter Chen introduced the ER model defining Entity-Relationship models.

By 1980 the Relational Model had become a component of database management in RDBMS. 1990 saw the introduction of an object-orientated RDBMS and in 1991the Microsoft revolution of MS access displaced other personal DBMS products. By 1995 the internet too saw database applications come to the fore and by 1997 XML had been applied to data processing with many vendors incorporating it into their products.


What is database DBMS system originated in the 1960s and store relational data in tables which can have a multitude of rows and columns? Today one has a choice of databases and languages to effectively manage and store data on a DBMS. The DBMS has 5 components and uses a specific language like SQL and its variants in its operations.

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