Databases - Introduction: What Are They?
Recently at college, a mandatory unit involving databases required me to explain a little bit about them and what they actually are. So in this article I will explain what they do and what they are used for, and expand on several factors in the area of database systems. I will also explain the difference between electronic databases and manual databases. Throughout the article, I am explaining basic knowledge about database systems, which is an extremely useful tool within I.T. - especially web designers.
1. What are 'Electronic Databases'
Databases are everywhere – however sometimes people don’t realise. An electronic database is the term for a public or private server which stores information for future reference which can be stored online and/or on a PC. There are many types of data stored in databases which includes movies, information about people and timetables (see more below.) There's also two primary types of databases, which includes 'manual' databases, which are held within books, magazines etc. and electronic databases - which is what we are mainly talking about in this article.
2. What can be stored in a database?
A database can store literally any type of information. This includes;
- Items for purchase
3. What are some examples of 'Electronic Databases'
There is a huge variety of public databases online. Some examples of these electronic systems include;
- Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- Online shopping sites (eBay, Amazon etc.)
- Online banking (HSBC, NatWest etc.)
- Email Systems (Hotmail, Outlook etc.)
- Movie Databases (IMDb, TheMovieDB etc.)
4. What’s the difference between electronic/digital databases and manual databases?
In simple terms, an electronic database is a collection of data that is stored on a computer system, whether its public or private. Any sort of searchable information is technically a database. However, a manual database is a 'paper' copy of a database, such as a restaurant menu or a fashion catalogue. Of course this is much more time-consuming and isn't very efficient in terms of organisation. A huge feature of an online database is the search option, which means the user can search for a specific piece of data.