Appendix B. Databases 101

Let's begin with a simple definition. A database is a piece of software that governs the storage, retrieval, deletion, and integrity of data.

Databases are organized into tables. Tables have columns (or if you prefer, fields), and data is stored in rows. If you're familiar with spreadsheets, then the idea is fairly similar. Of course, databases blow spreadsheets out of the water in terms of power and performance.

Structured Query Language (SQL) is the standard way of communicating with databases. Using SQL, you can view column information, fetch a particular row or a set a rows, and search for rows containing certain criteria. You also use SQL to create, drop, and modify tables, as well as insert, update, and destroy the ...

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