large library of books

To start, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I am a software engineering student who is relatively new to the tech field. This post ,as well as, subsequent posts will catalogue my learning journey as I dive into new and amazing subjects. This is my first post and my hope is that you are able to gain something from it! With that being said, here we go…

Let’s just say I thought that I understood what a database was and after starting a project that required data storage, I quickly realized that I had no clue what I was dealing with. Simply put, a database is an organized collection of information. This information, or data, can be stored either electronically or in something simple like a ledger or book. Whether it be a small business or a large organization, electronic data will need to be collected, stored, updated, managed, analyzed and utilized for a host of different functions. If a database is just the concept of holding information in an organized manner, then what is actually doing the work of obtaining and maintaining it?

This is where a database management system (DBMS) comes into play. A DBMS is a database software program that is tasked with creating a uniform method of storing and organizing data. The data being stored, coupled with the DBMS and any other associated applications is what creates the database system or , in short, the database. There are many different types of databases including; but not limited to, relational databases, network databases, object- oriented databases, and hierarchical databases. Depending on the data being stored and what you would like to do with your data is how you would choose what’s best for your needs. In some instances, organizations may even create their own databases in order to better satisfy their day to day demands. You might even see large companies like Google and Facebook using a combination of several different types of databases to keep up with the massive amounts of data the platforms need to remain up and running.

To create a complete DBMS you have to employ database software. The software is what gives a graphical interface for the user to be able to interact with. Through the software, the user is able to create and access stored data and maintain records. The chosen software will also provide security in protecting user information along with backing- up that information. There are several different types of database software and, again, choosing the best option for your DBMS will depend on desired performance. The types of software tend to fall into a few different categories:

  • Analytical database software
  • Data database software
  • Distributed database software
  • End-user database software
  • External database software
  • Operational database software

In closing,

A database is a data storage structure and system of maintaining and accessing information that is largely determined by the needs of its respective user. Often the terms database, database management system, and database software are used interchangeably but it is important to note that they are technically different features of a whole. While this is only a surface level view of an entire system, I hope that this was enough to provide a basic foundation to further expound your knowledge of databases.

Software engineer student at Flatiron School