BASIC DATABASE CONCEPTS
THE DATABASE APPROACH
• Understand how the database approach is different and superior to earlier data
• Examine how information demand and technology explosion drive database
• Trace the evolution of data systems and note how we have arrived at the
• Comprehend the benefits of database systems and perceive the need for them
• Survey briefly various data models, types of databases, and the database
Consider the following scenarios:
• You meet someone in a computer store. As a knowledgeable IT professional,
you want to help this person. He says he is looking for database software to
keep the names and addresses of his customers to do his mailings and billings.
But what he really needs is a mail-merge program.
• You call your travel agent to make your airline reservations for the vacation
you have been waiting for all year. The agent responds by saying that she cannot
do that just now because the database is down. She really means that the reser-
vations computer system is not working.
• Here is one more. You call your cellular phone company to complain about
errors on the latest billing statement. The phone company representative says
Database Design and Development: An Essential Guide for IT Professionals by Paulraj Ponniah
ISBN 0-471-21877-4 Copyright © 2003 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
that the database must have printed some incorrect numbers. What the repre-
sentative really implies is that the billing application has miscalculated the
In our modern society most people know the term database without under-
standing its full and clear meaning. Even in information technology circles, not
everyone knows the concepts in reasonable detail. What is a database? Is it data?
Is it software? Is it the place where you store data? Is there something special about
the way you store data? Is it how you store and retrieve data? What exactly is a
database system? What are the features and functions? Many more