What is a database?
A database is a collection of information or data, which is organized so that it can be easily managed, accessed and updated. Information and data are organized and managed into tables that include columns and rows and sorted in order to make it simple to search the relevant information. The data stored in a database gets expanded, updated and deleted as new data or information is added. Further, the database processed workloads in order to update and create themselves, by querying the data they running in the applications against it. Typically, the databases of computer contain aggregations of files or data records such as inventories, product catalogues, customer profiles and sales transactions. Managing the information by using a database enables users to use their own data strategically. Further, the data needs to access and re-sort for a number of uses such as writing management reports, creating mailing lists, generating lists of chosen news stories, and identifying different clients’ requirement. The processing power of a database enables it to manipulate the information it houses so it can be sorted, matched, linked, skip fields, arrange, calculate, link and aggregate the information in an effective manner. Because of the versatility characteristics of the database, it is found that powering all types of project, a database must be linked to different domains that are as follows:
- A word-processed document collection
- The personal address book of every individual client
- For the social service organizations, a client-tracking application.
What are the characteristics and benefits of a database?
There are various characteristics, which differentiate the approaches of the database from the file-based approach or system. Following are some of the benefits of the database system:
Insulation between data and program: In the file-based approach or system, the data structure is defined in the programs’ application, so that if a user wants to modify the structure of a file, all the associated programs, which access that particular file might require to be modified as well. Apart from this, in the database approach, the structure of the data is stored in the catalogue of a system but not in the program. Thus, one modification is all that is needed to change the structure of a file. This insulation between data and programs is also known as program-data independence.
Self-describing nature of a database system: The database can also refer as a self-describing system because it only includes the database itself. Further, it is also referred to as metadata that describes and defines the relationships between data within tables and it also describes the tables in a database system. further, this information is used by the Database management system software or users. This separation of information and data makes a database system completely different from the existing and traditional file-based system in which the definition of the data is a part of the application program.
Support for multiple views of data: Multiple views of similar data is supported by the database. A view is a subset of the database that dedicated and defined for the particular users of the system. It is possible that different users might have different views for similar data, where, each and every view might contain only the data of interest to a group of users or individual users.
Multiuser system and sharing of data: The existing database system are designed for the multiple users; in which it allows many users to access a similar database at the same time. Through the concurrency control strategies, this access is achieved. These strategies make sure that the information and data accessed are always appropriate and relevant to the queried data and that data must maintain its integrity.
Data sharing: The integration of overall data, for an organization, within the database system has many benefits. At first, it enables the sharing of data between employees or others who have access to a particular system. secondly, it also provides the ability to users in order to generate more information from the provided data amount, which would be possible without the integration.
Control of data redundancy: In the database system or approach ideally designed to store each item of data in one place within the database. In some cases, the data redundancy still remains in order to increase the performance of the system, but such redundancy is controlled by the programming of the applications and kept minimum by addressing the little redundancy as possible while designing the database.
Restriction of unauthorized access: The entire users of a database system does not have the same privileges to access the database. For example, some user might have only read-only access, while others might have both write and read privileges, and they have accessed to modify the files too. Thus, database system management should offer a secure subsystem in order to control and create a number of user accounts and also restrict unauthorized access.
Transaction processing: The DBMS (Database management system) must include concurrency control subsystems. Further, it ensures that the information and data must be valid and consistent while processing the transaction even if several users can update the same information multiple time.