DatabaseThis week we will discuss databases. Before we dive into this topic, we need to define what a database is and how to manipulate this data to your advantages.

A database is a structured collection of records or “data” that is stored in a computer system. In order for a database to be functional, it must be accessible so that new information can be updated and changed easily in order maintain it.

There are several common types of databases used today.  Each type of database has its own data model (how the data is structured).

Let’s take a look at some of these.


Flat-File Database – Data is stored in numerous files. The files are not linked together so often data might be repeated in more than one file.  This can cause redundancy.

Hierarchical Database – Data resembles a tree like structure. One good example is the structure of Microsoft Windows files and folders.

Relational Database – Files are related by means of a common field. Note the example below. When linking these files together one can tell that Ford makes the Mustang, Chevy makes the Malibu, etc.  Both codes are of equal value.

File 1                                                           File 2

Code      Manufacturer                    Code      Model

1                 Ford                                          1            Mustang

2                 Chevy                                       2            Malibu

3                 Buick                                        3            Century

Object Oriented Database – Information is represented as objects instead of data.  Think of a car engine.  There are many objects in a car engine (pistons, gaskets, exhaust system etc.) Each is a stand-alone component but when put together they make an engine which is a component of a car.

Analytic Database – This type are is primarily used to keep track of statistics.  They are often used in retail as inventory catalogs and they keep track of company sales that can be analyzed to determine how and when products are sold.

Operational Database – Operational databases contains information that is internal in nature.  For example, it might contain data on customer complaints, employee information, transactions, etc.

Network Database – Records are linked to other records creating a network. A good yet simple example would be that in baseball, one league has many teams or one baseball team has many players.

Client Server Database – A client/server database is used in a small to medium business to share data among multiple users in a local area network.  Microcomputers are often used in a local area network.


I hope that you found this information helpful.  Please feel free to forward to others.  If you would like to learn more on this topic or would like to request another topic for the future please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would to print a copy, please visit my website


Until next time…Happy Computing!!!


About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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