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BBA (Tourism) 3rd Sem-2012

Database Notes Given By Mr. Vineet Saxena, IMS

What is a database?
A database is a place to store your application data. It can be a simple text file, xml file,
binary file, MS Access database, SQL Server database, Oracle database etc. In other words,
your database need not be SQL Server or Oracle - it can be just plain text files.
However, there are several key differences between storing data in text files and database
server based databases. Text file based database storage may be good enough for small
applications which deal with very less amount of data. Most of the applications developers
followed this approach before database systems like FoxPro, MS Access, SQL Server etc
became popular.
Data storage and retrieval become very efficient if you store very large volume of data in text
files.
The popular database systems in the market are SQL Server and Oracle along with few others.
In the coming chapters, you will learn how the database systems evolved and how to use
them.

A database is a collection of all data required for an application. Each database


application will have only one database.

What is a Table ?
- Tables are part of database.
-

A database is composed of several tables.

You need to create separate tables to store different type of data. For examples, if you
have a School Management Software, you may need to create the following tables:

Students - to store list of all students


Teachers - to store list of all students
Attendance - to track the attendance of all students
MarkList - to store the mark list of all students

BBA (Tourism) 3rd Sem-2012


Database Notes Given By Mr. Vineet Saxena, IMS

What is a Record?
A record represents one entry in a Table. A table can have any number of records.
If you have a "Students" table to store the student information, a record in the table represent
a student. To add a student, you will add a record to the "Students" table. To delete a student
from the software, you will delete a record from this table.

What is a Field ?
A field is a column in the table. A record is a collection of fields. All records in the same table
will have the same set of fields.
If you have the "Students" table, you may have the following fields:
Name - to store the name of the student
Address - to store the address
DateofBirth - to store the date of birth of the student

RegistrationDate

to

store

the

date

on

which

the

student

registered.

etc.

If you add a field to the Table, it is applicable to all records in the same table. In the above
example, all records in the "Students" table will have the same 4 fields.

Summary
A database a collection of Tables
A Table is a collection of Records.
All records in the same table will have the same fields.
In most cases, an application will have one database which has several tables.

First generation database systems


These are file based systems. Even though they are structured databases, they are using files
in the backend. Each table is stored as a separate file. There is no relation between files

BBA (Tourism) 3rd Sem-2012


Database Notes Given By Mr. Vineet Saxena, IMS
(tables).
DBase
Clipper
Foxbase
FoxPro

Among these, FoxPro was promoted by Microsoft and is still available in the market. The new
form of FoxPro is called 'Visual FoxPro'.

The above systems allow data storage as well as programming against the data. For example,
using FoxPro, you can save data as well as create fully functional FoxPro applications (This
feature is not available in modern database systems like SQL Server).

Second generation database system


Microsoft introduced MS Access as a database system to compete with other industry leading
database systems. MS Access is still file based, but all tables in a database is merged into one
file. It is easy to move database into another place and all files are safe within the database.

MS Access allow you to store data as well as write fully functional applications. You can create
rich applications with windows forms using MS Access.

Third generation database systems


SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase etc belong to this category. Even though data is still saved as file,
you do not deal with them as files. You will always use an application called 'database server'
to deal with the data. When you want to store or retrieve data, you will access the database
server to do this job. You have to use a different application (like C#, VB.NET, C++) etc and
communicate with the database server using some technology like ADO.NET.
In most cases, you will not even know where the database file is located. Instead, you will just
need to know how to connect to the database server, user id, password etc. Once you are
connected to the database server, you will send commands to the server to manipulate data.