We have already discussed what is a database. What is the importance of database and database management systems in the last post: What is a Database?.
The most common classification for the different types of digital databases are as follows.
Flat file databases
As the name suggest, flat file databases stores data in the forms of plain text files. They are almost similar who we keep files and records in real life. This is the simplest of all databases. As only plain text files are used, it becomes very easy to create and add data in them.
But the issues occur with them is that there is no definite way of categorizing data so it becomes very slow and difficult to search data when it comes to searching through multiple ways.
For example, searching mp3 with name “song.mp3” is easy to search. But if you want to search all those mp3s in whose singer is “Mr John”, you have to get into each one by one and find! The data has no logical sense as they are in simple form. So, there can be repeated data, and it can also be corrupted very easily.
Object Oriented Databases
Here data is organized through their key objects. For example, suppose a “student” becomes an object. Then we have student’s birth date, student’s address and so on. And thus, we can form a wide network of data.
Basically, this type of database is based on the linkage of relation between different kinds of databases we have. For example, every student will have a school. And then we have school’s number and principle’s name also. And then this principle will also have a number… it gets hard to navigate the relation network gets complex. Searching becomes difficult and data is usually found repeated. CouchDB is an example, they are also called NoSQL Databases.
Here data is organized in the form of parent/child relationships. Layer by layer, the data get highly organized and searching is efficient. But here also, data navigation gets complex over time due to complexity in the relationship between data.
Windows registry is an example of hierarchical database. As you will find different types of data get grouped together into a category, which get regrouped into some other category and so on.
Relational Databases are the most popular to use. Here, data is organized in rows and columns and tables are formed. The best part about relational databases is that they support indexing of large amounts of data for quick access. But the relationships between tables can be very complex. MySQL is an example of relational Databases, SQL is also one of the most popular database manipulation language which is primarily based on relational database.
We have different types of databases because each application has different kind of data which are build to be used for different purpose. What needs to be efficient is different with every form of data therefore we have different database options to choose.
We are going to learn MySQL, one of the most popular databases. So, stay connected to learn more!