What is a Database Management System?

Information is being generated more rapidly than ever. For example, consider a hospital. Think of all the records that they have to keep in their system, for every patient that comes in. Not only do they have to keep a medical record of that patient, but they also have to keep records of payments, and documents related to that person's personal information. How do they do this? With a database management system.

Database management systems are used for all kinds of reasons. Big Fortune 500 companies will use them to keep complex and accurate information on all their customers. Basically, a good database management system will process, organize, and store information into a system, and make retrieval simple and as easy as possible. Also, it will work to centralize all the information into one system, so you can easily have everything at your fingertips, and have it there quickly.

All databases have a certain organizational structure, which files away attributes of the information, which you can then search for and locate within the database. Let's use a common example to illustrate this. Let's say you have a database of the different kinds of shirts you have in your closet. One attribute of the shirts would be their size – which can be expressed in small, medium, large and so on. Another attribute could have the color of the shirt – red, blue, orange, etc.

If these were organized in a database, then you could type in a command to the database to get the information you seek. For example, let's say you wanted to know how many medium-sized blue shirts you have in your closet. You could give orders to the database to locate entries within the database that match both the attribute of being blue, and being a medium size. Any good database could give you back in instant answer to that question.

Of course, that's a very simple example. However, you might be the owner of a business and what to know which customers have spent over $ 10,000 with you in the last three years, who have three or more children in the household and and are 50 years or older. Imagine trying to figure that out manually by going through all your records that are in a file cabinet.

You can get the answer to how many of those customers exist in less than 15 seconds with a good database management system!

Source by Steven P. Ross

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