Is Your Data Flatlined or In a Relationship
|Flat File databases hold
all the data in one large table.
Relational databases hold data in many smaller tables that all link together.
A relational database is different from a flat file format such as those created by a spreadsheet or a word processor. Flat file are easy to set up, but difficult to manage. Problems that arise with flat files can be resolved with a properly constructed relational database:
Problem: You store the same information in several places, such as: Customer Names, Product Information, Order Information and Employee Information.
When you update these items, it is time consuming to find all of the places they occur and type in the same information over and over. Will you be completely sure that all copies are the same? Is there a risk of deleting important data, then finding that there were no backup copies?
Solution: A properly designed relational database stores each item in only one table, pointing to that table from other tables of related information. Information can be returned from sets of related tables as though they were all stored as one table.
Properly planned cascade updates and deletes can keep the database from accumulating obsolete or misleading data.
Problem: Your Data displays improbable or implausible information, such as: Orders for products that do not exist, Orders for customers that do not exist or Employees hired before they were born.
Solution: A carefully constructed relational database includes data validation and business rules for verifying data, so that mistyped or inconsistent entries are caught before they are saved in your database.
The same system can also flag entries for special attention; for example, a customer who orders from a new product category or one who waits longer than usual to re-order!
Types of Databases:
people can write programs; yet,