Data is information or facts about any subject, which may relate to any object under consideration. People’s names, date of birth/age, weight, height etc. may be taken as data related to these people. An image, file, pdf may also be considered as data. Structured systems of data which can be stored (among other operations) are called Databases. Databases can be of various types, depending on application and usage. To have different types of databases explained is the purpose of this brief review that follows.

What is Database?

Data are the symbols characters or quantities, with which operations can be performed on a real or virtual computer or computerized system, and which may be transmitted and stored by way of electric signals, and documented on any recording media. Data may also be considered as information or characteristics (which are generally numerical or symbolic) which can be collected, processed, manipulated, transmitted or stored. Technically speaking, data is a set of values of quantitative or qualitative variables about single or multiple objects (or persons). A Data Base is a collection of data that is organized and stored in a form that makes retrieval, transmission, manipulation etc. possible inside the environment of the computerized system (cloud included). Data Bases render management easy. For example, the domestic electricity service provider uses a Data Base to manage and provide monthly billing, customer queries; problems and issues, and also to handle fault Data and restoration of power supply, amongst other matters. A typical Social Media, like Instagram or Facebook, needs to methodically store enormous masses of information related to Members, Member activities, friends of Members, Messages, and Advertisements and so on. An adult dating app has to store this information along with even more for matching. A hookup site like utilizes massive amounts of various user data to match casual daters in real time. These are only some examples. The examples of uses of Data Bases in our daily life are too numerous to be listed here, and have contributed to a new science of DBMS (Data Base Management System).

Types of Data Bases

Data Bases are, in its simplest form containerized storage for Data. It could also be called a library of organized Data. Technically, Data Bases are computerized structures that store and save, organize and protect and transmit and deliver Data. A typical diagrammatic representation and symbol of a Data Base is a ‘Cylinder’. Following are the main different types of databases explained:

  • Relational Data Bases: These were most important in the 1980s, when the items of Data were organized tabularly, and displayed as arrays of columns and rows. This form of Structured Information allows highly accurate and speedy access to Data.
  • Object Oriented Data Bases: These Data Bases are organized around representations of objects.
  • Distributed Data Bases: Data Bases may, in this case, maybe located and stored in scattered physical locations, multiple computers and different Networks.
  • Data Warehouses: This form utilizes large centralized storage for Data in order to accommodate extremely fast analysis and query.
  • NoSQL Data Bases: These Data Bases took over from Relational Data Bases, as storage and manipulation of both Structured and Unstructured Data, side-by-side, became at once more common, and more complex. This is the most popular Data Base at present.
  • Graph Data Bases: These Data Bases store Data as entities and their relationships to each other.
  • OLTP Data Bases: This stands for Online Transactional Processing, and generally involves Inserting, Updating or Deleting small amounts of Data in a Data Base. OLTP is used to deal with large number of continuously upgraded transactions by a multiplicity of Users.

Data Bases are often confused with Spreadsheets, but they are not the same thing. Both are convenient ways to store information. But Spreadsheets, such as, Microsoft Office Excel, is different from Data Bases, in the manner in which Data is stored and manipulated. Access to the Data, as well as the amount of Data that can be stored is also limited for Spreadsheets, which was originally designed for one User only. It is obvious from the set up of a typical Spreadsheet that it cannot handle more than a maximum number of Users, and allow manipulations that are too complicated. Data Bases on the other hand can store and absorb vast amounts of Data that are almost unlimited. They allow a multiplicity of Users to access the Data stored quickly and securely and manipulate this Data, with incredibly complicated manipulations, logic and language.