Database management system (DBMS)


A DBMS is a set of software programs that controls the organization, storage, management, and retrieval of data.

A database is a collection of permanently stored data used by an application or enterprise. A database contains logically related data, which means that the database was created to represent the real-world.

All databases are not built on the relational model, see Database - Model

When people use the word database, fundamentally what they are saying is that the data should be self-describing and it should have a schema. That's really all the word database means.

The databases were born to insert into.

A collection of information organized to afford efficient retrieval



Key Features

Why would I want a database? What problem do they solve?

  1. Sharing. Support concurrent access by multiple readers and writers
  2. Data Model Enforcement. Make sure all applications see clean, organized data
  3. Scale. Some work with datasets too large to fit in memory
  4. Flexibility. Use the data in new, unanticipated ways. Abstraction … Layer between physical and logical.

Documentation / Reference

  • Bill Howe, PhD (Director of Research, Scalable Data Analytics) University of Washington - eScience Institute

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