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Introduction to Database Systems

Now that we have had a brief encounter with MySQL database, you will be able to relate better with the upcoming concepts of databases.

What is a Database

  • A database is the place where the data is stored. It is generally disks or the files on a computer.

  • A database is an organized collection of data, stored and accessed electronically.

  • A database has various types of objects like tables, views, procedures etc.

  • These database objects typically represent the real world entities like a table to store employees data and another table to store financial transactions data and so on.

What is a Database System

  • A database management system (DBMS) is a computer software application that interacts with end-users, other applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze data.

  • Sometimes a DBMS is loosely referred to just as a "database".

  • A general-purpose DBMS allows the definition, creation, querying, update, and administration of databases.

  • Almost all database systems provide command line interface (CLI) for direct interaction with the database, and APIs for multiple languages (Java, .Net etc) to interact from user interfaces (UIs).

  • The data is generally stored in the database systems in a DBMS-specific format which is not portable across different database systems, but data can be shared or transferred using standard methods such as SQL and ODBC or JDBC.

Some popular database systems are:

Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server (SQL Server)MySQL, DB2, Sybase, MongoDB, Hive, HBase

Database Server

  • A database, database system, and database server - all these terms are used interchangeably but they are not same exactly.
  • To be clear and correct, when the database system is running, the core processes of database system software are referred to as Database Server or Instance.

For example - when MySQL database is running, we can say MySQL Server is running.


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