What is a Database?

In this article, you will learn about data, databases, types of databases, and different types of softwares used to set up a database on a system.

What is data?

The word ‘data is derived from the word ‘datum’ which means a single piece of information. Data is plural of word datum. So we can define data as the collection of small units of information.

The data that is stored and processed by a computer system is known as computer or digital data. It is generally stored by a storage device such as a hard disk and processed using a CPU. Name, gender, height, weight, etc are some data related to a person.

The computer data is stored in the form of bits (binary digits i.e. 0 and 1). An image, audio, or video files, pdfs are the example of computer data.

What is a database?

A database is an organized collection of structured data. Usually, data is organized in single or multiple interconnected tables this makes it easy to store and fetch relevant information.

The main purpose of using a database is to operate a larger amount of data by storing, managing, and retrieving it.

A website on the internet can store its user’s information such as their login details, personal details such as name, gender, photo, etc. This information is stored in a database that is set up by the website creator.

Database components

The major database components are given below –

  • Hardware – It consists of storage devices such as hard disk, data I/O channels, computer system, etc.
  • Software – This is a set of programs that are used to create and manage a database. A database management software creates a wrapper around the physical database and provides an easy-to-use interface for creating and managing databases.
  • Data – As discussed data is the collection of information for which a database management system is designed.
  • Procedure – The procedures are the general instructions to use a database management system. This includes the procedure to install DBMS, managing and taking backup of databases, etc.
  • Database access language – The database Access Language is a simple language designed to write commands to access, insert, update and delete data stored in any database.

Types of databases

Choosing a specific type of database depends on how you intend to use data. Some of the most popular types of databases are given below.

Relational databases – This is one of the most efficient database types. Database in a relational database is organized as a set of tables with columns and rows.

Distributed databases –  A distributed database may be stored on different computers. These databases consist of two or more files located on different sites.

Object-oriented databases  – In this type of database data is stored in the form of objects, as in object-oriented programming.

Data warehouse – A data warehouse is used to collect and analyze business data from different sources. It is the core component of business intelligence.

NoSQL databases – These are non-relational databases that are designed to be used across large distributed systems. Notably, these are much more scalable and much faster in handling larger data loads than relational database systems.

Open-source databases – The databases whose source code is available for public use, this could be a SQL or NoSQL database.

Graph databases – These are the NoSQL type of databases that uses graph theory to store map and query relationship.

OLTP databases – This type of database is designed for large numbers of transactions performed by multiple users.

Cloud databases – Cloud database is designed and optimized for virtualized environments. It offers scalability on-demand, along with high availability.

Multimodal databases – This type of database combine different types of database models into a single, integrated back end. This means they can accommodate various data types.

Document/ JSON databases – These types of databases are designed for storing, retrieving, and managing document-oriented information, document/ JSON databases are a modern way to store data in JSON format rather than a table.

Self-driving databases – These are the newest type of database that uses AI and machine learning to automate tasks such as tuning, backup, updates, and there database admin tasks. This type of database is also known as an autonomous database.

There are so many other types of databases available for use.

Database softwares

Database software provides an interface using which you can easily create & access databases, manipulates data, report, and represent data. It also handles tasks such as database security, backup, update, and multiuser access.

Database software sometimes also referred to as a database management system (DBMS). Some of the most popular database management softwares are MySQL,  Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle database, etc.

Advantages of using a database

There are several benefits of using a database some of these are given below.

  • We can retrieve and represent data easily
  • Data can be updated easily
  • It also reduces data redundancy
  • Can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously
  • Improved data security
  • Backup and recovery is easy

Disadvantages of using a database

We have some disadvantages of using a database also for example –

  • The designing database is complex, difficult, and time-consuming
  • Substantial hardware and software startup cost
  • Required technical expertise to handle databases
  • Damage to the database can affect all other applications that rely on it for data


So you have learned about data, database and database types, etc. Now if you have a query then write us in the comments below.

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