An Introduction to Databases

Diving into Databases: Unveiling Their Necessity, Types, and Management Systems: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners.

Posted Tue, Nov 14, 2023



When shopping online, you read about the items and see their pictures, and on social media, you add new posts and see those of others. Data is at the heart of everything we do, being generated and processed. But have you ever wondered how all this data is stored, managed, and retrieved efficiently? That's where databases come into play.

Let’s talk about the necessity of databases, what they are, the various types, and common examples of Database Management Systems (DBMS).

The Necessity of Databases

Websites are data powerhouses, storing vast amounts of information to provide us with the services we rely on. Consider, for example, e-commerce websites. They need to store product information, customer details, and purchase history as they anticipate a large volume to be on record. Social media platforms store user profiles, posts, and interactions. Healthcare systems manage patient records, medical history, and appointments. The list goes on.

One could simply expect this to be written into text documents (flat files) like school notes. You may for instance say since you created a post on your browser, it should stay there (cookies), but it's no longer available after you shut down your browser for a while. This can occur as a result of the database management system (DBMS) used in that browser.

What Exactly is a Database?

A database is essentially a structured storage for data, allowing for managing and retrieving data appropriately. Rather than scattering data across countless files or using cookie-cutter approaches, databases offer a systematic and more organized way to keep information in check.

Imagine a database as a highly specialized librarian. It knows where every book is, can provide you with any book you need quickly, and also ensures that every book is in perfect condition. In the world of data, the database is that meticulous librarian.

However, databases are useful also for transforming raw data extracted into useful information. In situations where certain information or data is expected to be delivered to a certain set of people, a database can be handy in tackling this objective.

Types of Databases

It would be wrong to assume that databases are of just one form. Databases come in various flavors to cater to different needs as required. Here are some of the primary types:

  • Relational Databases: As the name implies, these databases organize data into tables and manage relationships between these tables. They are perfect for structured data with clear relationships, like user data and purchases in an e-commerce system. The data is most especially structured using row and column format. Using this type of database makes it very easy for one to navigate through the file to locate the data on a colomb and its corresponding properties on a row. It is mostly adopted in fields where transactions take place regularly like in a bank or storehouse. It can also be used in schools, hospitals, and places where people go frequently to keep a record of inventory. Examples of this also include; SQLITE, MySql, Oracle Database, Postgre SQL, etc.

  • NoSQL Databases: NoSQL databases offer flexibility for unstructured or semi-structured data. They are suitable for scenarios where data formats can vary widely, such as social media posts. They can, however, be classified into 4 types including; Key-Value Store - which enables items in a key-value database to be stored as an attribute name together with its value, Wide-Columns - which does not make use of rows but columns that are optimized for queries over large datasets, Document Database - which connects individual key to a complex data structure that is referred to as Document, and Graph Databases - which store network-related information of people such as social media data.

  • In-Memory Databases: Unlike traditional databases that store data on hard drives, in-memory databases keep data in RAM (Random Access Memory). This results in significantly faster data retrieval, making them ideal for applications where speed is critical, like real-time analytics. In-memory databases are also useful for applications that concentrate on online gaming, scientific modeling, and Machine Learning. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon use In-Memory Databases to power their network analysis tools and their social graph. The problem with using it is that it is limited in capacity, and it is not durable in contrast to traditional databases


The type of database you choose depends on the specific requirements of your project. Understanding your data structure and how it will be used is key to making the right choice.

Examples of Database Management Systems (DBMS)

To interact with and manage databases efficiently, we use Database Management Systems (DBMS). Here are a few examples:

  • MySQL
  • MongoDB
  • Redis devil 
  • Oracle Times Ten
  • VoltDB


In conclusion, the knowledge of database management is inevitably relevant in every profession. So having a solid knowledge of Database Management can make you fit into any company you would want to work for. And the good news is that you don't have to travel far to acquire this knowledge. That's right! You can start learning about Database Management from professionals by connecting with our community by clicking this link What are you waiting for? Enroll now!

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