- A database is a collection of data that is organized and stored according to some purpose.
- A relational database organizes such data into tables.
It's easier to illustrate this concept than try to explain it. Below is an example of a table that might appear in a book database.
|Table of Books|
|0-67980527-3||Oh, The Places You'll Go!||Dr. Seuss|
|0-553-21037-8||The Brothers Karamazov||Fyodor Dostoevsky|
|0-451-17512-3||The Fountainhead||Ayn Rand|
|0-374-51199-3||Cancer Ward||Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn|
|1-56592-434-7||MySQL & mSQL||Randy Yarger, George Reese and Tim King|
The table has a name, several columns, and rows containing data for each of the columns.
A relational database represents data in tables such as this and provides retrieval operations that generate new tables from existing ones. As a result, the programmer sees the database in the form of such tables.