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Relational Database Management

  • 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
ISBN Title Author
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
0-452-28062-1 Beloved Toni Morrison
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.