World Databases

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

In computer science, a database is an organized collection of data for one or more multiple uses. One way of classifying databases involves the type of content, for example: bibliographic, full-text, numeric, image. Other classification methods start from examining database models or database architectures: see below. Software organizes the data in a database according to a database model. As of 2010[update] the relational model occurs most commonly. Other models such as the hierarchical model and the network model use a more explicit representation of relationships.

Database management systems

A database management system (DBMS) consists of software that organizes the storage of data. A DBMS controls the creation, maintenance, and use of the database storage structures of social organizations and of their users. It allows organizations to place control of organization wide database development in the hands of Database Administrators (DBAs) and other specialists. In large systems, a DBMS allows users and other software to store and retrieve data in a structured way.

Database management systems are usually categorized according to the database model that they support, such as the network, relational or object model. The model tends to determine the query languages that are available to access the database. One commonly used query language for the relational database is SQL, although SQL syntax and function can vary from one DBMS to another. A common query language for the object database is OQL, although not all vendors of object databases implement this, majority of them do implement this method. A great deal of the internal engineering of a DBMS is independent of the data model, and is concerned with managing factors such as performance, concurrency, integrity, and recovery from hardware failures. In these areas there are large differences between the products.

A relational database management system (RDBMS) implements features of the relational model. In this context, Date's "Information Principle" states: "the entire information content of the database is represented in one and only one way. Namely as explicit values in column positions (attributes) and rows in relations (tuples). Therefore, there are no explicit pointers between related tables." This contrasts with the object database management system (ODBMS), which does store explicit pointers between related types.

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