For example, a database can store a customer’s details like name, birthday, address, order details, family details, occupation details, preferences, and much more. All of this data can be collected from various sources and put together in one place, and stored under a common name (such as customer_details).
Formally, a database is an organized collection of structured or unstructured information stored electronically on a machine locally or in the cloud. Databases are managed using a Database Management System (DBMS). The DBMS acts as an interface between the end user (or an application) and the database. Databases use a query language for storing or retrieving data.
Through this article, we will learn about the following:
Databases are used for various data processing operations, the most basic being the Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations.
Applications use databases via programming language code to store or get the necessary data. For example, when you create an online profile on a social media platform, the data you provide is stored in a database for future use.
Some typical uses of a database are:
For a long time, relational databases were the most common type of databases. However, as unstructured data continues to grow, storing and retrieving data using a traditional database has become difficult. This gave rise to non-relational databases like document databases, graph databases, and others. Some popular types of databases are:
Examples of databases include MongoDB, Oracle, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Cassandra, and CouchDB. While MongoDB and CouchDB are document databases and Cassandra is a columnar database, the other database examples are relational databases.
Check out some database examples for different use cases.
The most important advantages of DBMS are security, faster data access, data independence, and data integrity.
At any point in time, database systems ensure maximum consistency by providing provisions for regular archiving, backups, data audits, input validations, removing redundancies, and so on.
By using database hosting, query optimization, indexing, and other performance optimization techniques, database systems ensure that users can retrieve and store data efficiently.
Database systems ensure data security and privacy by providing authentication and access control measures.
DBMSs can be configured to take care of periodic backup and recovery in case of a failure.
Data independence helps in abstracting data representation details from application programs. Schema changes at one level do not impact the data at another level. For example, end-users and applications need not know the internal data storage structure and are not affected by internal schema changes. A DBMS achieves data independence at different levels: view, physical, and logical.
Although data integrity and security are key benefits of a good database system, these are also challenges that need constant attention because of the high volume and availability of data over the internet. However, thanks to modern databases, these challenges can be easily overcome.
Hackers are always on the move and security measures need to be upgraded every now and then. A good database should follow security best practices and provide end-to-end data protection.
Your application data will increase as your user base increases. The database system should be able to handle the increase in data. This is achieved by database scaling. Scaling is complex, especially because the number of users can keep going up. Modern databases provide horizontal as well as vertical scaling capabilities.
When you test your application with 1000 users, the performance you get might not be the same as for a million or more concurrent users. Performance is a challenge that needs to be constantly worked upon by techniques like scaling, indexing, query optimization, and following best practices.
Efficient utilization of resources like CPU, disk, or memory is essential for proportionate usage. Sometimes, one of these resources may be overused, and others may be underutilized. A good database server provides tools to measure and profile the workload and performance at different usage points to utilize the available resources effectively.
Through this article, we defined a database, explored types of databases, and shared how database management systems provide better data management. Modern databases like MongoDB can handle growing volumes of data and do much more than just storing and retrieving data. If you haven’t tried MongoDB yet, sign up for free today.
The database “explain” is a keyword that gives information about the statistics and execution plan of the given query. Explain results describe what processes take place, and in which order, during the execution of a query. This helps in analyzing the query performance and optimizing the query if needed.
A database is defined as an organized structure where information of different types can be stored. Databases make data storage and retrieval faster and more efficient. Modern databases like NoSQL databases can do much more than just store data. Some salient features of a database include:
Databases are used to perform operations on data, like insert (Create), Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD). Further, databases can perform various sorting and filtering operations to organize data for easy retrieval and viewing.