What is a database used for?

A database can record, store, organize, protect and retrieve data electronically. You can easily access, modify and update the data in a database.

The most common databases store information organized in rows and columns in a series of tables, with each row representing a new record and each column representing a new independent variable.

A table with rows and columns.

What are the different types of databases?

There are several different types of databases.

1. Relational databases

The most common database is called the relational database. Relational databases are built on the relational model of data—the data is stored in one or more tables with columns and rows, and a unique key is used to identify each row.

An example of a simple relational database.

Relational databases use SQL (Structured Query Language) to store, query and manage data. Examples include MySQL, SQLServer, Oracle, MariaDB and IBM Db2.

2. NoSQL databases

With big data, NoSQL databases have become quite popular.

Unlike relational databases that store information in tables, NoSQL databases use other models such as objects, documents, key values and graphs.

Examples include HBase, Cassandra and AllegroGraph.

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See also

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