Different Types of Databases Top 12

1.0 Relational Databases

This is the most common of all the different types of databases. In this, the data in a relational database is stored in various data tables. Each table has a key field which is used to connect it to other tables. Hence all the tables are related to each other through several key fields. These databases are extensively used in various industries and will be the one you are most likely to come across when working in IT.

Examples of relational databases are Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server and they are often key parts of the process of software development. Hence you should ensure you include any work required on the database as part of your project when creating a project plan and estimating project costs.

2.0 Operational Databases

In its day to day operation, an organisation generates a huge amount of data. Think of things such as inventory management, purchases, transactions and financials. All this data is collected in a database which is often known by several names such as operational/ production database, subject-area database (SADB) or transaction databases.

An operational database is usually hugely important to Organisations as they include the customer database, personal database and inventory database ie the details of how much of a product the company has as well as information on the customers who buy them. The data stored in operational databases can be changed and manipulated depending on what the company requires.

3.0 Database Warehouses

Organisations are required to keep all relevant data for several years. In the UK it can be as long as 6 years. This data is also an important source of information for analysing and comparing the current year data with that of the past years which also makes it easier to determine key trends taking place. All this data from previous years are stored in a database warehouse. Since the data stored has gone through all kinds of screening, editing and integration it does not need any further editing or alteration.

With this database ensure that the software requirements specification (SRS) is formally approved as part of the project quality plan.

4.0 Distributed Databases

Many organisations have several office locations, manufacturing plants, regional offices, branch offices and a head office at different geographic locations. Each of these work groups may have their own database which together will form the main database of the company. This is known as a distributed database.

5.0 End-User Databases

There is a variety of data available at the workstation of all the end users of any organisation. Each workstation is like a small database in itself which includes data in spreadsheets, presentations, word files, note pads and downloaded files. All such small databases form a different type of database called the end-user database.

6.0 External Database

There is a sea of information available outside world which is required by an organisation. They are privately-owned data for which one can have conditional and limited access for a fortune. This data is meant for commercial usage. All such databases outside the organisation which are of use and limited access are together called external database.

7.0 Hypermedia Database

Most websites have various interconnected multimedia pages which might include text, video clips, audio clips, photographs and graphics. These all need to be stored and “called” from somewhere when the webpage if created. All of them together form the hypermedia database.

Please note that if you are creating such a database from scratch to be generous when creating a project plan, detailed when defining the business requirements documentation (BRD) and meticulous in your project cost controls. I have seen too many projects where the creation of one of these databases has caused scope creep and an out of control budget for a project.

8.0 Navigational Database

Navigational database has all the items which are references from other objects. In this, one has to navigate from one reference to other or one object to other. It might be using modern systems like XPath. One of its applications is the air flight management systems.

9.0 In-Memory Database

An in-memory databases stores data in a computer’s main memory instead of using a disk-based storage system. It is faster and more reliable than that in a disk. They find their application in telecommunications network equipments.

10.0 Document-Oriented Database

A document oriented database is a different type of database which is used in applications which are document oriented. The data is stored in the form of text records instead of being stored in a data table as usually happens.

11.0 Real-Time Database

A real-time database handles data which constantly keep on changing. An example of this is a stock market database where the value of shares change every minute and need to be updated in the real-time database. This type of database is also used in medical and scientific analysis, banking, accounting, process control, reservation systems etc. Essentially anything which requires access to fast moving and constantly changing information.

Assume that this will require much more time than a normal relational database when it comes to the software testing life cycle, as these are much more complicated to efficiently test within normal time frames.

12.0 Analytical Database

An analytical database is used to store information from different types of databases such as selected operational databases and external databases. Other names given to analytical databases are information databases, management databases or multi-dimensional databases. The data stored in an analytical database is used by the management for analysis purposes, hence the name. The data in an analytical database cannot be changed or manipulated.

Different Types of Databases Top 12 – Tip

Of the different types of databases, relational is the most common and includes such well known names as Oracle, No-SQL, Couchbase, Hadoop, Sybase and SQL Server. However as a project manager you need to be prepared for anything, hence why having a high level view of the different databases is useful particularly when managing a software development life cycle. Regarding the remainder, you will hear a great deal about database warehouses. This is a highly specialized area which involves mining the data produced to generate meaningful trends and reports for senior management to act upon.

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