I'd also like to add, if your intent is to have a fairly extensive database of items, you're absolutely going to want some form of easy to use item editor utility that will allow you to easily add items to your database and edit items in your database. This idea eventually extends to nearly every aspect of your game. Class editors, monster/npc editors, level editors, quest system editors, etc. These are preferably all wrapped up into a single game editor that gets used to create all the various data that composes the tangibles of your game.
You should also look into the factory pattern (and abstract factory pattern) for a popular method of wrapping and abstracting these content databases from your game code.