A database is a collection of data which is stored and accessed digitally. It is used by businesses to support internal operation and facilitate the communication between the business and its customers and suppliers.
Databases are classified into different types: hierarchical, network, relational and object-oriented databases.
Hierarchical databases are known to have a tree structure and own records that outline information about the relationships of different cells called parent and child. In this structure, each child can only have a parent.
Network databases make connections among different types of data. They are similar to hierarchical databases but in this structure, each child can have more than a parent.
Relational databases are composed by tables in which information is accessed or reassembled in various ways without editing and reorganise the database tables, and avoiding data redundancy. The most popular relational databases are Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and IBM DB2.
Object-oriented databases store data in the form of objects and contrary to relational databases, they are not table-oriented.
Users access databases through a database management system (DBMS). DBMS is a computer-software application which interacts with end users, other applications and the database itself to get and analyse data.
Due to the technological development, over the years, the sizes and capabilities of databases and DBMS have grown. The term database has been firstly introduced in the 1960s and with the developments in the computing industry, new database systems emerged.
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