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What is the purpose of a database?
The purpose of a database is to help people keep track of things.
What is the most commonly used type of database?
The relational database is the most commonly used type of database.
Define the terms data and information. Explain how the two terms differ.
Data are facts and figures. Information is defined as knowledge derived from data, or as data presented in a meaningful context. Data is simply recorded in the database, but the data must be manipulated in some way to produce information.
What is the purpose of the largest databases used by e-commerce companies such as Amazon.com?
The largest databases used by e-commerce companies are Web-activity databases used to track customer behavior.
How do the e-commerce companies use these databases?
The e-commerce companies’ Web-activity databases are used to determine which Web page items are popular and successful, and to test if certain variations in Web page design will generate more orders.
How do digital dashboard and data mining applications differ from transaction processing applications?
Digital dashboard and data mining applications do not generate new data, but instead are used to summarize existing data to provide information to management.
Explain why a small database is not necessarily simpler than a large one.
While small databases vary from large databases in terms of the amount of data they store, they can still have the same structures and components (types of data, number of tables, complexity of data relationships) as a large database. A small database is not necessarily a simple database.
What are the functions of application programs?
- Create and process forms
- Process end user queries
- Create and process reports
- Execute application logic
- Control the application
What is Structured Query Language (SQL), and why is it important?
Structured Query Language (SQL) is an internationally recognized standard language used and understood by all commercial database management systems.
What does DBMS stand for?
DBMS stands for database management system.
What is the function of the DBMS?
A DBMS creates, processes and administers databases under the control of the DBMS.
Name three vendors of DBMS products.
Three vendors of DBMS products are Microsoft (Microsoft Access and SQL Server), Oracle Corporation (Oracle Database and MySQL), and IBM (DB2).
Define the term database.
A database is a self-describing collection of integrated tables, which means that the tables store both data and the relationships between the data.
Why is a database considered to be self-describing?
A database is considered to be self-describing because it contains a description of itself – such as what tables are in the database, which columns are in each table and what kind of data is stored in each column.
What is metadata? How does this term pertain to a database?
Metadata is data about data. Metadata in databases allow them to be self-describing.
What advantage is there in storing metadata in tables?
The advantage of storing metadata in tables is that we can query the metadata to determine the structure of the database – for example, what tables, columns, indexes and data types exist in the database.
List the components of a database other than user tables and metadata.
- The components of a database in addition to user tables and metadata are:
- Stored procedures;
- Security data; and
- Backup/recovery data.
Name the components of an enterprise-class database system.
- The four components of an enterprise-class database system are:
- Users – The people who interact with database applications created in MS Access
- Database applications – These are the programs or applications that the users actually use as an interface to the underlying databases.
- The DBMS – The DBMS creates, processes and administers databases.
- Databases – Each database application is run against one or more DBMS created and maintained database.
How do database applications get and put database data?
All database applications get and put database data by sending SQL statements to a DBMS.
List several consequences of a poorly designed database.
Poorly designed databases have poor performance. As a result, the databases may require application developers to write overly complex SQL statements, or they may be difficult to revise and adapt to changing circumstances, or they may fail in some other manner.
Explain two ways that a database can be designed from existing data.
- A database can be designed from existing data by:
- Using data from non-database sources such as spreadsheets and text files; or
- Using data extracts from existing databases.
What is a data warehouse? What is a data mart?
A data warehouse is a database that uses data extracted from operational systems such as CRM or ERP applications for study and analysis (non-operational) purposes. A data mart is a smaller, usually more subject specific, version of a data warehouse.
Describe the general process for designing a database for a new information system.
- To design a database for a new information system:
- System requirements are generated from forms, reports, user requirement statements, use cases and other systems development documents.
- A data model is created.
- The data model is transformed into a database design.
- The database design is implemented in a DBMS as a database.
Explain two ways that databases can be redesigned.
- A database can be redesigned from existing data by:
- Adopting an existing database to updated database requirements; or
- Integrating two or more existing databases.
What does the term database migration mean?
- Database migration is a term used to describe the process of redesigning an existing database to meet new or changing database requirements. In this process:
- Tables may be created, modified or deleted.
- Relationships may be altered.
- Data constraints may be changed.
- Other changes may be made as needed.
Summarize the various ways that you might work with database technology.
You might work with database technology as a user (also called a knowledge worker), as an application programmer, or as a database administrator.
What job functions does a knowledge worker perform?
A knowledge worker prepares reports, does data mining, and performs other types of data analysis.
What job functions does a database administrator perform?
A database administrator designs, constructs and manages databases.
Who was E.F. Codd?
Edgar F. “Ted” Codd was an IBM engineer who created the mathematical theory of relational databases (and the process of normalization, which is discussed in Chapter 3).