What is a database?
It is called database, or also data bank , a set of information belonging to the same context, ordered in a systematic way for later retrieval, analysis and / or transmission. There are currently many forms of databases, ranging from a library to the vast data sets of users of a telecommunications’ company.
The management of the databases is carried out through management systems (called DBMS for its acronym in English: Database Management Systems or Data Base Management Systems), currently digital and automated, which allow orderly storage and rapid recovery of data. Information . In this technology is the very principle of computing.
In the creation of a database, different models and paradigms can be followed , each one endowed with characteristics, advantages and difficulties, emphasizing its organizational structure, its hierarchy, its capacity for transmission or interrelation, etc. This is known as database models and allows the design and implementation of algorithms and other logical management mechanisms, depending on the specific case.
Types of databases
There are different classifications of the databases, depending on specific characteristics:
According to its variability . According to the processes of recovery and preservation of data, we can talk about:
- Static databases . Typical of business intelligence and other areas of historical analysis, are read-only databases, from which you can extract information, but not modify the existing one.
- Dynamic databases . Apart from the basic query operations, these databases handle processes of updating, reorganizing, adding and deleting information.
According to its content . According to the nature of the information contained, they can be:
- Bibliographical . They contain different reading material (books, journals, etc.) ordered from key information such as the author’s data, the publisher’s data, the year of appearance, the thematic area or the title of the book, among many other possibilities.
- Full text . They are handled with historical or documentary texts , whose preservation must be at all levels and are considered primary sources.
- Directories. Huge lists of personalized data or email addresses, phone numbers, etc. Service companies handle huge client directories, for example.
- Specialized . Data bases of hyper specialized or technical information, thought based on the specific needs of a specific public that consumes this information.
Some possible examples of databases throughout the story are:
- Phone books . Although in disuse, these bulky books used to contain thousands of telephone numbers assigned to homes, businesses and individuals, to allow the user to find the one he needed. They were cumbersome, heavy, but complete.
- Personnel files. The set of the life writings of an author, researcher or intellectual are often preserved in a file, which is organized based on the preservation and reproduction of the originals, allowing their consultation without jeopardizing the original document.
- Public libraries . The perfect example of databases, because they contain thousands or hundreds of thousands of records belonging to each book title available for your loan, either in room or in circulation, and of which there may be more than one copy in the deposit. The librarians are responsible for designing these systems and ensure their operation.
- Transaction records . The operations carried out with a credit card, as well as the calls made with a cell phone, or other types of daily business transactions, generate all a set of records that will be given to a database of the company.
- Medical history . Every time we go to the doctor or a hospital, we update the information regarding our health , the treatment received and other medical details in a file that keeps track of our medical history, in the event that in the future we need to know specific information, such as operations or treatments received.