In fact, any reliable structured source of information can be referred to as a database. The properties and design of database systems are incorporated in the curriculum of information technology (1).
Central to the concept of a database is a collection of records, information, and answers to some particular queries. In a given data base, there is a dovetailed description of the facts held in order in the database. This is referred to as schema. In a typical schema, there would be several linked objects and their related data. You can actually juxtapose the said objects similarity versus their contrasts in a schematic table from a database.
There are several ways of setting up a schema to organize a database; these are referred to as data models or data base models (5). The most popular and user friendly is the relational model which retrieves the data in rows and columns, arranged into tables. It highlights the links between the tables of the common objects in them. Other models, which are more technical, are the hierarchical model and the network model. Professionals mostly use these.
The whole spectrum of computer software hinges on the many applications of databases. The preferred methods of storage of information, especially for large multi-user applications where several users access the information simultaneously, are databases. Even the individual user finds these data bases a convenient source of information. Almost all electronic mail programs and personal organizers find their basis in the standard database technology (3). Software data base drivers interconnect the database platforms so that application software can use a common application-programming interface. These software database drivers are easily available and are used to retrieve the information sought for and which is stored in a database. The most commonly used database APIs are JDBC and ODBC.
The data fed into the databases follows various techniques. Most databases have a parent model that they are fashioned after, although nowadays, it is quite common for products to give support to more than one model of database. One logical model can have various physical implementations because most of the support programs offered will allow the user some degree of control in choice. The choice in turn makes a significant effect on performance. For example, in the relational model, all serious implementations of the relational model operate under the assumption that the values of certain columns are known and therefore it allows the creation of indexes, which give fast access to rows in a particular table.
Different data base models
A bird's eye view of the database models popularly used today is (2):
Flat model: This database is made up of a single, two-dimensional collection of data elements in which all the data programmed in is assumed to have similar values and all the objects row-wise are assumed to be related to each other.
Hierarchical model: The data in this resembles a tree like structure and the upward reaching branches are actually single upward links for each record categorized there in. This creates a sort field to keep the data in a particular ordained