Databases

Databases are used to process Lists
These lists are stored in tables. The tables have rows and columns, much like a spreadsheet.
This table is called a Database:  it is a collection of rows which is organized to make the retrieval of information easier.  
A database can consist of a single file ( a flat database file) OR a number of related files (relational database file). 

Information is organized data

A column of the table is also known as a Field: the basic element of any database. 
A field stores an individual piece of information, such as a phone number or a zip code.

A row of the table is also know as a Record: records are made up of fields and are identical in structure throughout a database file. 

In an address book database, for example, an individual record might contain a Name, an Address, a Zip Code, and a Phone Number fields.

Everyday uses of databases

- locates information instantly, updates information, alphabetize, and prioritize
 Airline Reservation:  enter flight requests into flight files
 Customer Orders:   customer order database
 Hospital:  key in and retrieve information on patients
 Hotel:   enter hotel reservations
 Librarian:  uses search for literary materials   
 Police  key in licence plate for ownership

Operations that can be performed on records in a database:

  • add new records
  • update records
  • delete records
  • sort by field
  • search for records
  • select records
View the database in many different ways

Four steps in creating a database 

Step One: Create a database structure
  • to create a database you must first create a database structure to hold the information you wish to collect
  • The structure is a list or pattern that describes the attributes you want to record
  • the database structure is created by defining the fields
Step Two: Collect the data
  • Collect the data and verify that your database structure suits the data collected
Step Three: Data Entry
  • After the data is collected and the structure is complete, the information for each record can be entered into the correct field
Step Four: Verify the data
  • Edit the database to ensure that it is correct. 
  • In reality, this is an on- going step. It never ends!!

Examples of database programs

 Name of DatabaseType of Database  Platform Notes
 Microsoft Accessrelational PC, Mac 
 Open Office Base relational PC, Macfree open source software, part of the OpenOffice Suite
 FileMaker Prorelational PC, Mac 
 Google Fusion Tablesflat web basedfree, part of Google Drive apps
 Zoho Recordsrelational web basedfree website*
similar to Google Drive.)
    * Some restrictions apply