1. Introduction.
  2. Sql components.
  3. Db2 Data Type.




A database is an organized collection of information that is made up of related records. It is arranged in such a way as to make it easy to obtain specific pieces of information. While most databases are in an electronic format some exist in hard copy form and some are in both


Types of Databases

There are several common types of databases; each type of database has its own data model (how the data is structured). They include;


v       Flat Model

v       Hierarchical Model

v       Relational Model

v       Network Model.


The Flat Model Database

In a flat model database, there is a two dimensional (flat structure) array of data. For instance, there is one column of information and within this column it is assumed that each data item will be related to the other. For instance, a flat model database includes only zip codes. Within the database, there will only be one column and each new row within that one column will be a new zip code.


The Hierarchical Model Database

The hierarchical model database resembles a tree like structure, such as how Microsoft Windows organizes folders and files. In a hierarchical model database, each upward link is nested in order to keep data organized in a particular order on a same level list. For instance, a hierarchal database of sales, may list each days sales as a separate file. Within this nested file are all of the sales (same types of data) for the day.


The Network Model

In a network model, the defining feature is that a record is stored with a link to other records - in effect networked. These networks (or sometimes referred to as pointers) can be a variety of different types of information such as node numbers or even a disk address.


The Relational Model

The relational model is the most popular type of database and an extremely powerful tool, not only to store information, but to access it as well. Relational databases are organized as tables. The beauty of a table is that the information can be accessed or added without reorganizing the tables. A table can have many records and each record can have many fields.


Tables are sometimes called a relation. For instance, a company can have a database called customer orders, within this database will be several different tables or relations all relating to customer orders. Tables can include customer information (name, address, contact, info, customer number, etc) and other tables (relations) such as orders that the customer previously bought (this can include item number, item description, payment amount, payment method, etc). It should be noted that every record (group of fields) in a relational database has its own primary key. A primary key is a unique field that makes it easy to identify a record.

Relational databases use a program interface called SQL or Standard Query Language. SQL is currently used on practically all relational databases. Relational databases are extremely easy to customize to fit almost any kind of data storage.


Accessing Information Using a Database

While storing data is a great feature of databases, for many database users the most important feature is quick and simple retrieval of information. In a relational database, it is extremely easy to pull up information regarding an employee, but relational databases also add the power of running queries. Queries are requests to pull specific types of information and either show them in their natural state or create a report using the data. For instance, if you had a database of employees and it included tables such as salary and job description, you can easily run a query of which jobs pay over a certain amount. No matter what kind of information you store on your database, queries can be created using SQL to help answer important questions.


Storing a Database

Databases can be very small (less than 1 MB) or extremely large and complicated (terabytes as in many government databases), however all databases are usually stored and located on hard disk or other types of storage devices and are accessed via computer. Large databases may require separate servers and locations, however many small databases can fit easily as files located on your computer's hard drive.


Securing a Database

Obviously, many databases store confidential and important information that should not be easily accessed by just anyone. Many databases require passwords and other security features in order to access the information. While some databases can be accessed via the internet through a network, other databases are closed systems and can only be accessed on site.