Database Management Systems Explained

If you happen to be amongst the billions of people who use a computer system on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, the chances are quite high that you might also be using some form of database programs that are providing you with the information that you view on the Internet. This data is typically sorted in a software program referred to as a database management system (which is also known by its acronym: DBMS). Databases have been released since the inception of computer usage decades ago and have only evolved in their functionality, speed and capacity over more recent years. To begin with, there was only one type of database management system: the navigational database management system. So named because this system would navigate from one information point to the next until it found the component that was being researched. This was often very time consuming as the navigational database management system had to search through every bit of data in the database one step at a time. As time passed, so did database research and a new management system was developed: the nested relational database management system.

The nested relational database management system is so named due to the relationship qualities that the data contained within have with each other. For instance, in this relational database system, all the data is saved in tables and any such related data to the original is stored in a separate table that is then linked back to the original data. Upon searching for a piece of information, the computer system no longer needs to put the request through the trials of the navigational system and the searched information is consequently collected at a much more accelerated pace; this is also true of any associated or related data. This action is brought about with keys and each key is assigned to a particular record so there will be no cross contaminating of information. This is the most common type of database management system in use nowadays.

Additionally to the navigational and nested relational database management system, there is also an object database management system that is quite typically used by large corporations that have a need for more developed data analyzing and processing. It is clear to see that the inception and development of the database management system over the course of the years has administered us with products for every range of application and variety of computer use.

Frederic Samuel is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Databases In Web Hosting

Many web hosting packages will include one or many databases. If you don’t know what to use them for or how they will benefit your website, you can read on for the answers to these questions. A database will save all your data, but most importantly, allows the data to be more easily accessible. Data can be product information, customer names and addresses, sales records, or even the content that appears on your web pages. By using a database to get that information, you will be able to better serve your visitors and enhance their experience as a customer on your website.

One of the broadest uses of databases on the internet environment is to serve a dynamic form of information as it is asked for. In a large eCommerce site, for instance, the actual product information is kept on a database so that updating the site becomes a simple matter of getting the data changed. Without the use of this system, website managers would have to create more static pages for each product. When dealing with hundreds or thousands of products, this task would become almost unmanageable in an efficient way.

Dynamic pages make use of a template for the site’s static content such as headers, menus and footers. The contents of the database are then inserted into the template by the server software before the page is sent to be seen in a browser. You can place any content from the database anywhere on a dynamic page. This will allow you to set up pages which are more visually appealing and which include text and pictures and also add shopping suggestions such as: ‘Customers who bought this also bought…’’

You can also use your databases for storing and gaining access to customer records. This will allow you to tailor your pages according to what your customer previously bought. Each page could contain a personalized greeting (Welcome back John for example) and when they make another purchase all their personal data including address and credit card number could be taken from the database so they don’t need to fill in the same form yet again.

Mailinglists is yet another use for databases. Many websites send information out to their visitors to remind them about the site and to encourage them to come again. Email addresses can be kept in a database for sending out newsletters and announcements. The newsletters can also be archived in a database so that the visitors can browse or search through previous mailings.

Each database can be separated into tables which are a more complete set of data, so one database can be used for most of your website information by arranging a number of tables. The amount of databases that your site needs will depend on how many applications you are going to be running.

Having a database is one thing, accessing the data is another. There are many ways to get information from a database so that it can be applied more usefully to your website. One of the combinations which is more popular is PHP along with MySQL. PHP can be used in order to create dynamic web pages that pull data from a MySQL database. The language of programming is quite straightforward and can be used to set up interactive forms which are more complex. Other database applications included are MySQL with ASP, MSSQL with ASP, and PostgreSQL with PHP.


Martin Redford is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.