A database system is basically a computer based record keeping system. The collection of data, usually referred to as the database, contains information about one particular enterprise.
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It maintains any information that may be necessary to the decision-making processes involved in the management of that organization.
The intention of a database is that the same collection of data should serve as many applications as possible. Hence, a database is often conceived of as the repository of information needed for running certain functions in a corporation or organization. Such a
database would permit not only the retrieval of data but also the continuous modification of data needed for control of operations.
This chapter is going to discuss the basis of databases and their functioning. This discussion will lay the foundation of MS-Access the DBMS of Microsoft Office Suite Applications.
Database Functioning :
In a typical file-processing system, permanent records are stored in various files. A number of different application programs are written to extract records from and add records to the appropriate files. But this scheme has
number of major limitations and disadvantages, such as datr redundancy (duplication of data), data inconsistency, unsharable data, unstandardized data, insecure data, incorrect data etc. A database management system is answer to all these problems as it provides a centralized control of the data.
For instance, in a residential school, if two files are being maintained one for school and another for hostel it might create problems. As there are some students who live in hostel, their records are stored in two separate files school file and hostel file. Now consider a situation, in which a hosteler informs the school authorities as well as hostel authorities about the change of his correspondence address. What’ll happen, if the school authorities forget to change the student’s address but hostel file is modified with changed address ? Now which address (hostel file’s or school file’s) will be considered the accurate one ? There are two addresses pertaining to same student. Such a situation is called data inconsistency, and this arises because same data is stored at multiple places separately. Similar type of some other problems can also occur if data is replicated or not stored properly.
’DataBase Management System’ can address such type of problems very efficiently.