What is

Database - Explanation and definition of database

What is a database

A database is like a warehouse where we store a collection or set of data (text, image, sound, video ...) which are interrelated and can be accessed and consulted at any time.

For example, in the filing cabinet is located all invoices of a company can consider it as a physical database, given that in this filing cabinet has been defined as the physical warehouse to store all the information in text and numerical format of all invoices company, is also possible to make any query about a bill at any time.

The main problem of physical databases is determined by the space required and occupies time and effort spent searching and finds the information we need, on the other hand the physical databases do not perform any calculations or analysis of the information that contains. Thanks to advances developed in the computing area currently we have software for the creation, operation and management of digital databases, where we can store huge amounts of information of any kind, make any queries and get the data in just seconds, all occupying a space of a single and small hard disk.

Current advances in the field of information technology, allows us to create and manage complex databases, which can store whole libraries of books and documents into a small hard drive on a server, allowing any query with just one click, Can you imagine the time it would take you to find out the number of times the word "database" appears in all the books in a library?, thanks to the digital world the answer you would get in a few seconds. On the other hand recent advances have allowed the development of new tools and methods for the treatment and finding patterns of massive amounts of data, resulting in tools such as artificial intelligence, predictive modeling, business intelligence, etc.

Database structure

The basic structure of a simple and traditional database is composed of a file or set of tables that are linked together. Each file or table in turn contains fields and records which collect and store the information that you want to store. The field refers to a single piece of information while records refers to information define by a set of fields, for example a database of customers shop fields can contain the name, surname and date of the last purchase, while a record would be Jhon What, 12.05.2017.

Example of table file from a database (columns - fields, rows - records):
Records -> Name Surname Product sold Prize Date
Record 1 John What Smartphone 300 ¢ 12/05/2017
Record 2 Paul Mac Laptop 450 ¢ 15/05/2017
Record ... Mary Sun Tablet 375 ¢ 16/05/2016

Once defined the structure, database management systems (DBMS) allow us to enter, modify, store and view information in addition to create and define advanced tools for calculating and analyzing the information, for this task DBMS has programming languages specifically developed for them, SQL is an example of these languages. Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, DB2 and others are examples of management systems databases.

Databases applications

The databases are used in multitude of applications that surround us every day, such as Internet search engine Google is a large database that stores the information in all the websites that tracks so later using analysis tools, calculation and processing of information gives us a satisfactory result depending on the query or search performed. Banking transactions, management of hospitals, schools, supermarkets and department stores, records of communication between satellites ... are produced and management through databases.

The business world uses databases as key points for their daily management like in materials warehouse, human resource management, financial and sales area, systems and tools such as ERP and CRM would be infeasible without the use of databases.

The latest advances in this field have enabled the creation of complex databases that store huge amounts of information which uses analysis techniques known as data mining defined patterns or behaviors, these techniques are currently used to meet the tastes and habits of consumer, research on economic fraud, prediction of behaviors in the stock exchange, optimizing production models...

World Data Center for Climate has the world's largest database, a total of 6 petabytes, or what is the same of 300,000 HD movies, that information about climatological data serving scientists and researchers to understand and define predictive climate models.

what is a database