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Database Basics

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Databases Basics

Basic Definitions

Database and Records

A database (db) is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system. It can be, for example, a library database containing data on books and authors, or a company database containing data on products, orders, employees and so on.

Structured information on one object (book, author or product) is called a record. For example, if there are 5 books in our database, we can say there are 5 records in the database.

Record type (form)

What type of data is stored in a record is defined by a record type or a form. In case of a library database, there will be two forms: book and author. In case of a company database, we will need correspondingly such forms as product, order, employee and so on.

Simple and Relational databases

If all records in a database have one form (for example, in a contacts database), such database is called simple. If there are several forms in a database that are related to each other (books and authors, orders and products and so on), such database is called relational.

Fields

A form consists of fields. For example, the form 'Book' will have the following fields: author, cost, number of pages, year of issue. And the form 'author' can have the following fields: name, date of birth and photo. Fields are used to store, process and display data.

However, information stored in fields is saved not in a form, but in a record. A form only defines with the help of fields with what kind of data we want to work.

There can be fields of different types, for example:

  • Text field is used to store simple text data (name, address, description);
  • Numeric field is used to store numbers (cost, pieces and so on);
  • Math field does not store any data, but displays a result of calculation by the specified formula (for example, Total=Cost*Pieces).

Changing the fields values is called editing a record.

Table/Form View

Traditionally, records are presented in the form of a table or a form:

Table View

Form View

In case records are displayed as a table, every line of a table represents a separate record. Displaying a record as a form is more convenient for editing a record.

Operations with records

What operations can be performed in Brilliant Database?

  • Creating, editing and deleting a record;
  • Performing different calculations (get the total of an order, calculate the price with consideration of a discount and so on);
  • Printing records on paper (reports, invoices, stickers on envelopes with addresses and so on);
  • Performing search by the database (all products over $100, books in the detective genre and so on);
  • Forming and sending e-mail, exporting data to Internet, re-organizing data to other formats (Word, Excel and so on);
  • Automatically importing data from other sources (Internet, Outlook, other databases and so on).



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