• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

What is a Database?

This topic is 4255 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

What’s the best way to describe a database to someone that has never used one or know what one does? For the longest time I couldn’t really grasp why you would want to use a database to organize and deliver your data in an application. One programmer I knew described a database as a way to organize a large text file, which didn’t really make much sense to me. After working with SQL for about 6 months I now know how a database works and what it does. So now whenever someone asks me what a database is, I would tell them this. “A Database is essentially a structured file system that allows a user to do complicated searches based on data in the database or data provided by the user. The reason why we use a database instead of the native file system of a computer is because a database can store, search and retrieve data in a more efferent manner. The reason why we don’t use a database as a file system is because databases consume more resources than a file system thus making it less practical as a file system for an ordinary PC.” It’s a little wordy but I think it makes it clear what a database is and what it does. Real database machines typically do use a lot of resources, and even in some cases manage hard drives with out the use of an OS file system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
If i had to explain what is database, i'd probably just give a link to wikipedia: Database (i'd tell to read the intro, because after that - it gets a bit technical). And if there are any questions after he reads it - i'd do my best to answer them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster


You might also mention in your description - that a 'Database' is often run using an independant/seperate program (ie- a library or even an entire Application/Service) which was created as a general (reuseable) solution to 'database' type problems (storing/retrieving/searching information).
The 'database' can now have its data accessible to other programs that use the same database mechanism.



From my experience, a program saving/loading/searching its own data on files isnt usually refered to as a 'database'. A program may integrate an existing 'database' mechanism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement