What is Database?
If you will start searching on the Internet about the definition of a database, you will find a lot of diverse definitions. Since you are a beginner, I will make it simple for you. I think first you need to understand what is data and then we will talk about what is database.
What is data
Let’s understand the data with an example. Image the address of your home. You have a few parts in your home address. First, there is a house number, followed by the street name or number, then locality name, then city name, and then postal code and country name. Now you see, there are a lot of pieces of information that somebody needs if he wants to visit your residence.
Can somebody who just have the house number visit your home? – No
Can somebody who has house number and locality visit your home? – No
The person who is going to visit your place will have to have a complete address or else he can not visit.
If somebody just has a word or a number, he has a small piece of information, the moment he starts discovering more information about that word, he realizes there is an identity of a person or a place or a thing behind that information. Once he finds the identity, the information turns into data.
Now that you know what is data. Its time to discuss what is database.
What is Database?
When you have some data and you start storing it somewhere that will be called as you are forming a database. There are several ways of recording data. Let’s discuss what all can be called a database.
Below are the ways of recording data and they all will be called databases. Some are very old fashioned, some are the latest.
Ways of Creating Databases
- You can record the information in a physical notebook.
- Record the data in the form of audio and store that audio somewhere.
- Recording data in the notepad of your Windows operating system or in Microsoft word, or gedit in Linux etcetera.
- Use professional database management software to store and manage data.
The first option in which we store data in a physical notebook is a very old way. Remember the time when we used to visit banks and see a room full of files. Those were the days when banks used to keep the data in physical files. The banks used to maintain the database of all transactions related to each bank’s customers.
The second option of recording data in the form of audio has come into trend these days. As you know there was a time when books were available only in physical form or soft copy as a pdf file. Nowadays, we know the books are available in the form of audio files. Amazon has launched its audiobook service called Audible where they let to listen to a lot of audiobooks. They are hiring celebrities and voice artists to record the book in their voice and maintaining a database of those audio files. This is also a type of database.
The third way of storing data in Notepad, Microsoft Word, or gedit is outdated but comes very handy if you are in hurry. You can quickly open the application in your computer record the data and remove it afterword or keep it for a long time. The security of data is another aspect and I think it is too early to discuss it at this point but keep it in mind when we maintain a database, we need to keep it secure.
The third day of recording data is the most used these days where we store data inside a database managing software and keep it secure. Huge companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google, and other information technology giants are using this database managing software or have developed their own.
Some very famous database managing software are as below.
- SQL Server
- Oracle database
- MySQL (Open Source and Free)
- DBeaver (Open Source and Free)
- MariaDB (Open Source and Free)
- PostgreSQL (Open Source and Free)
These are just a few but the list is very long. There are several benefits of using database management software but among all of them, the most important remains the security of the database.
I hope you have understood the concept of data and database. In case of any confusion, feel free to comment.
As you are learning about data and databases. You might be interested to know about LINQ.
Take Care guys!