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Different Types of Databases - Top 12 1/2

There are different types of databases which are categorised on the basis of their function. The top 12 of these which you may come across are:

1.0 Relational Databases

This is the most common of all the different types of databases. In this, the data in a relational database is stored in various data tables. Each table has a key field which is used to connect it to other tables. Hence all the tables are related to each other through several key fields. These databases are extensively used in various industries and will be the one you are most likely to come across when working in IT.

Examples of relational databases are Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server and they are often key parts of the process of software development. Hence you should ensure you include any work required on the database as part of your project when creating a project plan and estimating project costs.

2.0 Operational Databases

In its day to day operation, an organisation generates a huge amount of data. Think of things such as inventory management, purchases, transactions and financials. All this data is collected in a database which is often known by several names such as operational/ production database, subject-area database (SADB) or transaction databases.

An operational database is usually hugely important to Organisations as they include the customer database, personal database and inventory database ie the details of how much of a product the company has as well as information on the customers who buy them. The data stored in operational databases can be changed and manipulated depending on what the company requires.

3.0 Database Warehouses

Organisations are required to keep all relevant data for several years. In the UK it can be as long as 6 years. This data is also an important source of information for analysing and comparing the current year data with that of the past years which also makes it easier to determine key trends taking place. All this data from previous years are stored in a database warehouse. Since the data stored has gone through all kinds of screening, editing and integration it does not need any further editing or alteration.

With this database ensure that the software requirements specification (SRS) is formally approved as part of the project quality plan.

4.0 Distributed Databases

Many organisations have several office locations, manufacturing plants, regional offices, branch offices and a head office at different geographic locations. Each of these work groups may have their own database which together will form the main database of the company. This is known as a distributed database.

5.0 End-User Databases

There is a variety of data available at the workstation of all the end users of any organisation. Each workstation is like a small database in itself which includes data in spreadsheets, presentations, word files, note pads and downloaded files. All such small databases form a different type of database called the end-user database.

Please click here to read Part 2 of Different Types of Databases - Top 12 2/2.

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