Databases: Definition, Characteristics, Types, Examples, Importance, Advantages and MORE

7 minutos de lectura

Being able to group multiple information in the same system is one of the great advantages of having the Databases. For this reason and as it is a fundamental tool to facilitate business management, in this article we present everything you need to know about them.

Keep reading and know all the information!

What are databases?

The Databases They can be defined as a type of technological «warehouse» that allows large amounts of information to be stored in an organized way. Likewise, they are characterized by having an easy system to locate the information within them.

In other words, Databases They are tools that maintain a set of related, grouped and ordered information.

Now, in the computing area, these work as a system made up of a set of data contained in disks that allow quick direct access through a set of specific programs.

In this way, it is relevant to indicate that each database is composed of one or more tables, which store a set of data. Each of them has one or more columns and rows. Thus, the columns store a part of the information while each row forms a record.

Importance of Databases

The main importance of Databases it is the organizing power it offers. Based on this, we present a list of advantages that these tools provide:

  • It allows grouping and storing a large amount of data and company information.
  • Facilitates the process of sharing information with members of the same organization.
  • Improves the ease of registration and information search.
  • It is always available.


According to its flexibility of modification

Dynamic databases: These allow information to be updated, changed or modified. Most allow such updates in real time.
Static databases: Unlike the previous ones, these only allow the consultation of the data, but do not accept modification or changes.

According to its distribution

Hierarchical databases: These types of databases are those that are organized in the form of an upside down tree. That is, they keep the information as a record within a hierarchical structure, it is precisely from this point that their name comes.

Each record that has said «tree» is called a node. The latter can be identified as the records with some useful information and the other descendant nodes come out from the root node: parents and children. Finally, every parent node can have multiple child nodes, but each child node can only have a single parent node.

Network databases: Unlike the previous one, in a hierarchical database a child node can have children. On the rest, it really has characteristics very similar to those of the hierarchical ones, although these are much more powerful and complex.

Relational databases: These types of databases are one of the most widely used today, especially to manage data dynamically, as they allow all types of data to be established and related to each other.
The data is stored in various registers which are in turn organized in tables.

In this way, the elements can be associated very easily and can be transposed without difficulty.

Deductive databases: They are also known as logical databases. These are used mostly in search engines, but it is not ruled out in other areas.

They support the storage of data and allow queries by search engines using previously stored rules and regulations.

Multidimensional databases: Finally, these bases conceptually use the symbol of a data cube. This means that the data and information are stored in the splice of three or more attributes. Although this conception can mean something complex, its use is really very simple.

Examples of Databases

Some examples of Databases that have been known over time are the following:

  • Telephone directoriesAlthough they are no longer in trend or their use is somewhat old, these heavy books contained thousands of telephone numbers assigned to homes, businesses and individuals. They were complex and heavy, but very complete in information.
  • Personal files: This type of example is basic for authors, writers, researchers or intellectuals, in order to keep all their works grouped together. Likewise, they are not only excellent for preserving files, but also for consultation without putting the original document at risk.
  • Public libraries: These contain thousands of data pertaining to each book title, author, amounts available for loan, among many other aspects. They are very necessary and speed up people’s visits, since everyone can get, in a matter of minutes, the data of what they investigate. In fact, there is a profession (librarians) who are empowered to design these systems and ensure their good performance.
  • Transaction records: Another everyday example is the records (account statements) of all the banking operations carried out. Well, according to these tools, the multiple records that end up in a company database are allowed to be generated.
  • Medical history: Another very common one is the medical databases, since each time a specialist is visited, the medical history is updated. This ends up being a personal database that will show both the progress or improvement in case of illness, as well as registering any treatment that is provided.

Characteristics of the Databases

The Databases They have many characteristics, among which we can mention:

  • Accessibility for multiple users.
  • Independence of all data
  • Integrity, validity and protection of the data.
  • Immediate and complete consultations.
  • Access and supervision security.
  • Support and possibility of saving information.
  • Creation and maintenance using standard programming languages.

Advantages of Databases

Watch over data redundancy

Unlike file systems that take up storage unnecessarily, in file systems Databases Everything is integrated, so there is no storage of multiple copies of the same data or wasted storage.
However, although it controls data redundancy, it does not allow to eliminate it completely, since it is sometimes necessary for the relationships between the information.

Data consistency

By having vigilance and control over data redundancies, the risk of inconsistencies is significantly reduced. For example, if data is collected only once, any update needs to be done only once and it will still be available to all users immediately.

On the other hand, if a piece of data is duplicated and the system knows this redundancy, the same system will guarantee that all copies remain consistent.

Share data

In file systems, files belong to the people or departments that use them. But in database systems, the database belongs to the company and can be shared by all authorized users.

Maintenance of standards

Due to the good integration that exists in the Databases, it is easier to respect the standards established, both by the company and those stipulated nationally and internationally.

Said patterns can be established on the existing data format to facilitate its exchange and can be standards for updating procedures and even access rules.

Improved data integrity

As mentioned in previous points, the integrity of the database immediately provides validity and consistency between all stored data. Integrity is regularly expressed through limitations or rules that cannot be violated.

Extend security

This is because the security of the database data represents the protection of the database against unauthorized users. Without these security measures, data integration could be very vulnerable to those seeking access.

Improve data accessibility

They provide easy and understandable query languages ​​that allow the user to make any type of query, without the need for a specialist to write an application or do such a task.

Increase productivity

Providing many functions instantly improves productivity. This, since Databases they provide many of the standard functions that the programmer needs to write to a filesystem.

With this advantage, the programmer can better focus on the specific function required by users, without having to worry about the rest of the low-level implementation details.

Strengthens maintenance

Systems Databases they divide the descriptions of the application data, which is known as data independence. This simplifies the maintenance of the applications that access the database and therefore strengthens them.

Increase in attendance

By being able to simultaneously access a database, it increases its concurrency, so work must be done to prevent problems of any kind from occurring.

Improved backups

Finally, in this regard, there are many differences between the Databases and files. For example, the latter leave it up to the user to take and execute data protection measures in the event of system failures.

Therefore, users are required to make daily backups, and in the event of an error, those copies are the ones to help restore them.

However, the database systems in use today work in such a way that they minimize the amount of work lost when a failure or some type of error occurs in the system.

Thank you for reading!

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