A database is a very useful tool in development. It gives a developer the ability to not only have a sense of data persistence within an application but is also efficient for space in memory. There are different ways a database can be framed. One way to frame a database is non-relational, on the other hand, one would use a relational database. In this article, I will dive deeper into relational databases.
In the early years of databases, every application stored data in its unique structure. When developers wanted to build apps to use the data, they had to know a lot about the particular data structure to find the data they needed. These structures were inefficient and hard to optimize for delivering good application performance. This is why the relational database model was introduced. The relational database model was designed to solve the problem of multiple arbitrary data structures.
A relational database is a type of database that stores and provides access to data points that are related to one another. An example of a relational database is the use of schemas.
In psychology and cognitive science, a schema describes a pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them.
Similarly, in programming, a schema is the organization or structure for a database. The term seems to refer to a visualization of a structure and sometimes to a formal text-oriented description.
In the early years of databases, every application stored data in its unique structure. When developers wanted to build applications to use that data, they had to know a lot about the particular data structure to find the data they needed. These data structures were inefficient, hard to maintain, and hard to optimize for delivering good application performance. The relational database model was designed to solve the problem of multiple arbitrary data structures.
A relational database presents data sets as a collection of tables and provides relational operators to manipulate the data in tabular form. Each row in the table is a record with a unique ID called the key. The columns of the table hold attributes of the data, and each record usually has a value for each attribute, making it easy to establish the relationships among data points.
What are the benefits of a relational database?
The main advantage of relational databases is that they enable users to easily categorize and store data that can later be queried and filtered to extract specific information for reports. Relational databases are also easy to extend and aren't reliant on a physical organization.
A relational database can be considered for any information need in which data points relate to each other and must be managed in a secure, rules-based, consistent way.
Relational databases give a developer the ability to do the following:
Removes redundant data through normalization.
Standard mature tools to be used for development, design, performance measurement, and management.
The ability to deal with larger datasets.
The ability to identify and utilize relationships inherent in the datasets, and more readily share data with other relational databases.
The main advantage of a relational database is its formally described, tabular structure, from which data can be easily stored, categorized, queried, and filtered without needing to reorganize database tables.