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Database Information


What is a Database?

A database is simply a collection of records stored in such a manner as to be searchable and retrievable for presentation or analysis by various software methods. On websites typically data is stored and retrieved by commonly used SQL (Structured Query Language) protocol. This is typically performed through the Perl or Java languages. Once the data has been acquired it can be formatted and displayed on any HTML webpage. Conversely, data can be collected from an HTML page and stored in the SQL database. Generally SQL processing is performed on the web server.

The definition of a Database is a collection of data fields stored within tables.

  • There can be any number of tables within a database
  • Seperate collections of data are stored in each table. The data from a number of tables (that have a relation i.e; Common ID number) can be extracted as one complete record.
  • Data is stored and retrieved by the powerful SQL protocol.


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How does it work?

Information is gathered by fields (like a questionaire on a webpage) is passed to the server once the user has clicked the submit or go buttonon the page. The data is then passed by variables to the code on the server which validates and checks the data before storing it in predefined within the SQL database. Retrieval is achieved by database queries coded on the server to extract the required information. The server then typically prints a webpage to the browser containing the required data and any HTML formatting to produce the desired look and feel of the webpage.

The power of Databases

Common information can be stored and retrieved in microseconds! Common queries (requested sets of information) can be pre-programmed on the server to allow almost instant acces by the user to simple and complex information.

A typical example in common use today would be a flight ticket booking system. The system will check for available seats and flights and report to the user availability. The user then can select from the options, make a booking, be informed of the price (which will change periodically-this information is easily updated to the database) and receive confirmation of the transaction. The company can review the information on the database at any time and assess logistic and economic information.

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