The Worlds of Database Systems

Databases today are necessary to each business. They are used to maintain internal records, to present data to customers and clients on the World-Wide-Web, and to support many other commercial processes.

The Evolution of Database Systems

What is a database? In real meaning a database is nothing more than gathering of information that exists over a long phase of time, often many years.

Early Database Management Systems

The first commercial database management systems appeared in the late 1960's. These systems evolved from file systems, which offer some of item (3) above; file systems accumulate data over a long phase of time, and they allow the storage of huge amounts of data.

Airline Reservations Systems

In this kind of system, the items of data include: 1. Reservations by a single customer on a single flight, including such information as assigned seat or meal preference.

Banking Systems

The Data items contain names and addresses of customers, accounts, loans, and their balances, and the connection between customers and their accounts and loans, e.g., who has signature authority over which accounts.

Corporate Records

Many early applications concerned corporate records, such as a record of each sale, information about accounts payable and receivable, or information about employees their names, addresses, salary, benefit options, tax status, and so on.

Smaller and Smaller Systems

In the beginning, DBMS's were large, expensive software systems running on large computers. The size was compulsory, because to store a gigabyte of data required a large computer system.

Parallel Computing

The ability to store huge amounts of data is important, but it would be of little use if we could not access large amounts of that data quickly. Thus, very huge databases also require speed enhancers.

Client-Server and Multi-Tier Architectures

Numerous different types of present software use a client-server architecture, in which requests by one process (the client) are sent to another process (the server) for implementation

Multimedia Data

One of the important trends in database systems is the addition of multimedia data. By multimedia" we mean information that represents a signal of some sort. Common types of multimedia data include video, audio, radar signals, satellite images, and documents or pictures in different encodings.

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