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Video:What Is a Database?

with Donald Daedalus

A database might seem like it functions as a table, but there are many aspects that set it apart. In this About.com video, learn why databases are different, and the many forms of databases that exist.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is a Database?

Hi, this is Donald Daedalus for About.com. Today's video is about databases.

What is a Database?

Like a table, a database stores information in tabular form. But they can also manage and retrieve data. In the tabular form there are columns and rows which contain attributes. Each row is a record and all the data part of the same record. Databases can be queried, which is how data is retrieval is possible. One of the columns is called a primary key and in the column there are no redundancy. For example, this numbered list. Now these numbers might correspond to a column in another table that has the same numbers but different data in those rows. This would be an example of a foreign key.

Types of Databases

There are basically two types of database management systems: desktop and server. Desktop databases, like Microsoft Access or Filemaker Pro offer an inexpensive solution for a single-user or single computer, pretty easy to use and can even be used to publish data on the web.   

Server databases are more powerful and flexible, they can be scaled for whatever need, but more expensive. Operating on a server, they are intended for many users.  

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