Chapter VII.1. Database Management

D atabase management is all about storing organized information and knowing how to retrieve it again. Although the idea of storing and retrieving data is simple in theory, managing databases can get complicated in a hurry. Not only can data be critical, such as bank records, but data retrieval may be time-sensitive as well. After all, retrieving a person's medical history in a hospital emergency room is useless if that information doesn't arrive fast enough to tell doctors that the patient has an allergic reaction to a specific antibiotic.

Because storing and retrieving information is so important, one of the most common and lucrative fields of computer programming is database management. Database management involves designing and programming ways to store and retrieve data. Because nearly every business from agriculture to banking to engineering requires storing and retrieving information, database management is used throughout the world.

The Basics of Databases

A database acts like a big bucket where you can dump in information. The two most important parts of any database is storing information and yanking it back out again. Ideally, storing information should be just as easy as retrieving it no matter how much data you may need to store or retrieve.

To store and retrieve data, computer scientists have created three types of database designs:

  • Free-form

  • Flat-file

  • Relational

Free-form databases

Free-form databases are designed to make it easy to store ...

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