What is a database?
Database is a set of information that is related to each other, which is stored and organized in a systematic way to facilitate its preservation, search and use. In English it is known as database.
Databases have evolved after computer and electronic advances that went from an analog system to a digital system characterized by storing a large amount of information that can be used quickly and easily.
The objective of databases is to facilitate the use and access to information, hence they are widely used in the business, public and scientific sectors, as well as in libraries, among others.
Likewise, systems that manage databases have been created in order to improve their operations known as Database Management Systems or DBMS for its acronym in English (Database Management Systems), which allow the information to be stored more quickly and safely.
Different databases have been created so that people, companies or public and private organizations can store information quickly and easily.
The different types of databases can be classified according to their usefulness, the area of application, among others. Below are the main types of databases.
Because of the variability
- Static databases: are those that are only used for reading or consulting information, which cannot be altered. Generally, it is historical data that is used to perform specific information analysis, so it is typical of business intelligence.
- Dynamic databases: these are databases that can be consulted and updated according to the needs that arise.
For its content
- Bibliographic database: they contain the main data of a publication.Hence, they only contain information on the name of the author or authors, date of publication, title, publisher, edition number, study area or subject, among others. In some cases it may include a summary of the publication.
- Full-text database: are those databases that completely store the primary sources of documents or texts, especially if they are of a historical, scientific or documentary nature.
- Directories: these are the databases in which telephone numbers, email addresses, billing information, codes, among others, are registered. These databases are widely used in companies, in order to record information about their employees, customers, suppliers, among others. The most common example is phone books.
- Specialized databases: are those that are used in various areas that have a specific audience and that are built to meet a specific need. They are used in the areas of biology, chemistry, medicine, among others.
For data management
- Hierarchical databases: they store a large volume of information that is organized according to its level of importance and shared data. Part of the most important to the supplementary data. Its biggest flaw is the repetition of data.
- Network database: it is one that contains a series of data registered and connected to each other. It is widely used by programmers.
- Transactional databases: their purpose is to collect and retrieve data quickly. They are generally used to perform quality analysis, collect production data, make bank transfers, among others.
- Relational databases: used to represent real problems and dynamically manage data. Its objective is to relate data in various ways, and it is capable of retrieving data through information queries.
- Multidimensional databases: allow the development of specific applications. The tables that make up these databases can be tables or metrics.
- Documentary databases: they are used to store a large amount of complete information and perform faster and more effective searches.
Some examples of databases are:
- Public libraries: these are spaces in which databases are used, generally managed by librarians, in order to record the main information of the books, magazines, newspapers and other publications they have, as well as their loans and circulation between the users.
- Medical history: databases intended to record specific information regarding the health status of patients, that is, medical history, treatments, analyzes, among others.
- Payroll: databases generally used in companies to record employee information regarding assigned positions and salaries.
- Accounting systems: these are databases in which information is recorded on the accounting activity of companies, account management, among others, in order to maintain the information in an orderly and quick way to access.
- Personal files: refers to the way to organize and archive the content that served as the basis for an investigation or intellectual work, in order to protect the primary and secondary sources of information.
- Financial system: these are databases used by banking entities in order to handle the information of their clients and the financial movements that they carry out in a secure manner.