Databases are one of the biggest benefits that computers have provided. Computers and the Internet have given individuals and businesses access to a tremendous volume of information, and this information is often stored and distributed through databases. Their work, however, is often done behind the scenes, and many are unaware of these systems. Here are some things you probably did not know about databases.
Databases are old. The term database emerged as technologies for storing information were developed to replace the tape systems of the past. Early databases used what was called a navigational system; in the early databases, each entry pointed to where the next entry was stored. While this paradigm has faded in popularity, it is still used in some databases today. In 1970, the concept of the relational model was introduced. The relational model put high demands on the computer’s processor, and companies were slow to implement databases on relational models. Today, however, relational databases dominate the field. Most expect that the relational model will continue its reign in the foreseeable future.
Databases do everything Most know that databases are used to hold moderate to large stores of data, but few know that databases also hold information stores of both tiny and humongous sizes. Blogs and content management systems are almost all powered by a database that stores the information contained in the web page. The world’s climate data is also stored in some of the largest databases around. Databases have even seen increasing popularity in mobile devices; iPhones and Android devices run apps that often use a small, embedded database to store application information. While developers often cringe at the thought of interacting with databases when it is not strictly required, small databases provide a secure, fast method of saving and retrieving application data.
Database have spawned a number of jobs Database administrators (DBA) are often on the front line of implementing and improving corporate and government systems. Much of what computers do is tied to data storage and retrieval, and professional DBA services are necessary to ensure that this data flows as smoothly as possible. For websites, search engines and other fields of computing, it is often the database that causes the performance bottleneck; squeezing every bit of performance out of a database is often the best way to improve a system’s performance without having to buy new hardware. Database jobs are not confined to industry, and there are a number of database experts in academia who seek to find the next breakthrough in database technology. As new computing concepts emerge in the coming years, there may be ways to improve greatly on the paradigms of the past. Other researchers are experimenting with NoSQL systems that may lead to better performances in some cases. Databases have, in many ways, driven the increase in the utility computers, and some of the largest databases will continue to grow at astonishing rates. Attention is generally paid to processors, RAM and improvements in raw number crunching, but it is often the databases that lead to the most benefit for business, academia and society.
Author Bio: As the Online Marketing Strategist for The DBA Shoppe, Brian Hines promotes the benefits and rewards of remote database administration. For more information on The DBA Shoppe please click here.