Memory and Database

Friday, November 10, 2006

What is a Database?

The word database is commonly used to refer to any of the following:
• your personal address book in a Word document
• a collection of Word documents
• a collection of Excel Spreadsheets
• a very large flat file on which you run some statistical analysis functions
• data collected, maintained, and used in airline reservation
• data used to support the launch of a space shuttle

Yes, these are all some kinds of database. Also the public library catalog is the most known nonelectronic database example. Another simple example is the unsorted pile of papers you might find on your desk. When you need something, you rifle through thestack until you find the scrap of paper you are looking for, it works because the size of database is increadibly small. A stack of paper certainly wouldn’t work for larger set of data, such a collections of library. Of course in the library, without the card catalog, periodicals, index, and the librarian, the library wouldn’t still be a database; it would be an unusable database. So, restating our definition,we will define a database as an organized collection of data.

To define and understand exactly what is the Database you should have to have a clear image of data itself.

Data is the facts about an object or concept. This could be a person, a place, an event, and action, in fact any one of a number of THINGS. A single fact may be considered as an element of data, or a data element. Regarding from that we can define what is the information:

Information is a data which has been organized, refined and presented in a form which can be used to facilitate a decision-making process or some other activity.

Often data itself considered as a unit of information. The distinction between the two definitions then becomes blurred; being contexual of the use of that data (or information).

A database is simply put, a collection of data, therefore, the brief definition of database might be:
• A store of information,
• Held over a period of time,
• In computer-readable form.
(Source: WENT2000 training kit)
A database is a system which collects various data, and lets users to get some information from them.

Source:
Database Concepts. WENT1999
Mysql & mSql O’Reilly
http://www.csie.ndhu.edu.tw/

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