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What Is a Database?

Essay by   •  January 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  908 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,985 Views

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What is a database? A database is a collection of information that is organized in a way that a computer program can easily select any preferred pieces of data. Basically like a filing system or a telephone book. A traditional database is organized by fields, records, and files. Field is a single piece of information, a record is a complete set of fields, and a file is a collection of records.

There are numerous approaches to a structure data that have been developed and used for database. The one that is used most is called relational database system. An original design for a relational database was developed by E. F. Codd in the late 1960s, which was based on Codd's mathematical theory of data. Relational database is a collection of tables of data, in each table would have a number of rows and columns of data, and the data itself can have a variety of different forms and types (by Robert W. Sebesta) .

There are so many databases that web developer's feel comfortable working with. Some of these open source database are or could be one of the popular databases below that are used; MySQL, postgreSQL, MSSQl, SQLite, MS Access. Or the simple ones like XML or text. One of the most popular open source databases is MySQL and Microsoft SQL server. They are both the same when it comes to storage and retrieval system, the two systems support the primary keys and with the key indices which allows speed up queries and constrain input. And they both offer some of the support for XML.

When it comes to open source and Proprietary database the difference is that open source nature of MySQL vs., the closed proprietary structure of the SQL server. With MySQL its extensible, open storage space database engine, offering numerous variations like MyISAM, Heap, and InnoDB. With MS SQL server you would be restricted to a Sybase derived engine throughout good and bad times. MS SQL server works best only with MS product, but MySQL it works like a dream with numbers of program languages and other web based technology which is has the best advantage over MS SQL in the way of compatibility.

When wanting to download MySQL it isn't always free, but it is more affordable when it comes to both products. MS SQL the right way to obtain a developer's copy is to buy a license copy of Microsoft Developer which offers a free SQL Server license for development use. When using MS SQL in a commercial environment a purchase of the SQL server standard edition would be required and that would cost a grand. MySQL is an open source system under the GNU the General Public License developer can use it at no cost as long as it is associated projects are also open source.

The performances between the both are MySQL is the clear leader, it is stably and many Internet powerhouse like Yahoo use MySQL as their back end database. MS SQL is strength of being packed with more features that and other systems is the biggest disadvantage,

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