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Shopping Guide for Database Software

The digital age has allowed the volumes of data that we are capable of managing to grow in an unimaginable way. It is only through the same technology, that we have the ability to administer and manage them successfully. For this reason, database software is required by companies and organizations from different fields.

In this shopping guide, you will know all the aspects you need to choose the ideal database management system option for your company.

What is database software?

A database software is a program that is used to manage, create, edit, configure, delete and access a given database.

This database is inaccessible without a program of this type, therefore, they serve as an intermediary between the user and the database itself.

They are also found under the name of:

  • DAMS: data administrators and database management systems.
  • DBMS: database management systems.

Although, the broad concept of database refers to any set of organized and stored information; database management software, in particular, is aimed at developers and computer experts.

This is because it refers to the concept of "electronic database", a set of data that is part of a system made up of three entities:

  1. An application or digital program
  2. An electronic database
  3. Software to manage the database (2) and its communication with the digital program (1).

Any application that handles data, including web applications, will require a DBMS to work. It is understood as a separate layer between the operating system and the application program.

How do database programs work?

Databases can be organized in many different ways, database software allows data associated with an application to be modified, secured and stored.

These systems communicate the application with the corresponding database. Therefore, a good database program, correctly configured and optimized, will make the application work optimally.

There are dozens of types of databases today, which serve as raw material in the operation of any type of program or application.

Database System Types

Each database software will provide one or more ways to organize the information, depending on the needs of the developer.

These various types of database system will be categorized according to:

  • The model.
  • The users.
  • The access.
  • The breadth of the application.

When choosing one, it is important to know the objective that is pursued and thus be able to manage the types of data in the best possible way. Each database software will offer a different way to structure the data.

Database models are structured into these types:

  • Relational.
  • Hierarchical.
  • Network.
  • Object oriented.
  • Document oriented.

Relational database

A relational database structure consists of rows and columns where data is located. For a developer, it is useful because it allows you to create different relationships between rows and present them in columns.

Hierarchical Database

The software that structures databases in a hierarchical way, organizes that information with an inverted tree scheme, or pyramid, where the data closest to the top includes those that are below, and are of a higher level in the hierarchy.

Network Model

Each of the database data is related to the others in network format. It is a flexible model, where the relational possibilities between “many” and “many” are opened.

Object-oriented database model

Object-oriented DBMS not only store, protect and manage data records, but also regulate a condition called "inheritance". This property indicates that a database element can transfer some of its attributes to other objects.

Document-oriented model

This model is more flexible than the row and column table format. It is chosen by developers who want to model data, since it is stored in a "semi-structured" way.

These semi-structured data can be queried using various DBMS tools. In addition, this allows the data records to be stored in different documents. 

Features of a Database Software

Although there is a great diversity of types of database software, they all must meet a series of characteristics.

  • Redundancies control: that the data already loaded is not repeated.
  • Data integrity: that the data is not lost or missing, and that it is reliable over time.
  • Control over users: the database management program allows you to control access and know who modified what, and when they did it.
  • Shared access: ability to share data and modify it simultaneously.
  • Speed: Optimize communication between the database and the program they comprise, with a response time as short as possible.
  • Data independence: the data should not depend on the programs, nor vice versa.
  • Transaction management: Relationships between data can be managed, no matter how complex they are.

Functions of a DBMS

This type of program has various functions, which may vary depending on the software contracted. The basic functions are:

  • Store data: the main function is to act as a "library" of data, with sufficient capacity and the necessary organization to find them quickly when consulting them.
  • Create database: DBMS also allow databases to be created, with the necessary relationships to be activated through an application.
  • Keep data safe: DBMS software must offer tools to encrypt data and make backup copies. This way, the data is not compromised by people who do not have access to it.
  • Edit data: most databases allow you to edit them, as long as you have access.
  • Clear Data: Database records can be completely cleared, and only in some cases can be restored.
  • Manage metadata: the information in the database has metadata or meta tags. These make searching possible, and maintain order within the base.
  • Keep the data intact: this means that they must meet certain conditions to be consistent and usable within a relationship. Integrity must be met in 4 different areas: field integrity, entity integrity, referential integrity, and logical consistency.
  • Multi-user function: the software allows access to the databases from different devices.
  • Optimize queries: the database system must process queries in the best possible way, for this it must facilitate the best route between relationships, and respond effectively and quickly to queries.

Why is it necessary to have database software?

The electronic treatment of data supposes a complexity that could not be provided in the databases of yesteryear, which were managed with physical files.

Today the levels of deep and complex relationships allow powerful applications and programs to be obtained. All this thanks, in large part, to the way in which all the data that makes up the base is managed.

All development with an electronic database must have a database management system or DBMS. This software offers the necessary tools to manage, create, secure and process database data, optimally and securely.