Q:

What is the purpose of a database?

A:

Quick Answer

A database is used to collect and organize data. Although an electronic version such as one created in Microsoft Access may be the first that comes to mind, there are many non-automated database versions as well, such as a personal phone and address book.

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What is the purpose of a database?
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Full Answer

A database can simply be a list that is kept written or typed on paper, in a computer spreadsheet or word processing document. This type of database, called a flat file, consists of one table with rows and columns of data. For example, a simple database for a small business might contain only two columns, product name, or brand and price. If a customer calls to ask about pricing, the store employee scans down the first column to find the product and then looks at the associated price column to answer the customer's question.

Most computerized databases are considered relational databases and are created using structured query language generally referred to as SQL. This type of database uses multiple tables of data that are related and ties them together with keys - a common identifying code. For example, a department code might serve as a key that ties department information and product tables together. These types of databases prevent multiple entries of the same data, provide fast sorting and various reporting opportunities.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When using a database, what is a field?

    A:

    In a database, the field is the smallest source of input for users to enter data. For example, a field in a database may ask for a company's name, tax identification number or income. A group of many fields is called a record, and a field in a spreadsheet is known as a cell.

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  • Q:

    What are the components of a database?

    A:

    Database components include one or more tables for the data, a query language that retrieves specific data elements, and forms for entering or displaying data. Additional components include reporting tools and customized page views of data. Relational databases have a schema that defines the relationship between tables and may include components that automate routine tasks.

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  • Q:

    What are the components of a database environment?

    A:

    There are five major components in a database environment: data, hardware, software, people and procedures. The data is a collection of facts, typically related. The hardware is the physical devices in the database environment. Operating systems, database management systems and applications make up the software. Examples of people in the database environment are the system administrator, programmers and end users. Procedures are the instructions and rules for the database.

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  • Q:

    What is the definition of the database approach?

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    The database approach is a way in which data is stored within a computer. It is organized into various charts that are accessed by a variety of computer applications from different locations. Databases are composed of a variety of information that is pertinent and relevant to the organization that is using the database.

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