What is a Relational Database? What is a Relational Database Used For?

What is a Relational Database? What is a Relational Database Used For?


Sabrina Polin: Find exactly what you’re looking for with a relational database. A relational database is comprised of tables of data that can be reassembled in different ways, as opposed to in a hierarchical file format. Each table includes columns of data categories, or attributes, in rows, also called records or tuples. Each row contains unique data or a key. Each table has a primary key that defines its information. For example, a typical business order entry would include a table that described customers the primary key, with additional columns for names, addresses, phone numbers, and so forth. Another table within the relational database could describe an order — “order number” being the primary key — with columns for product, customer sales, sales price, and so forth. Users can manipulate relational databases to find the view that fits their needs. For instance, a manager could obtain a report just for outstanding accounts, or a report from the same table that only shows orders placed within the last week. Structured Query Language, or SQL, is a standard user interface for querying relational databases in gathering data for reports. Relational databases enable users to easily categorize and store data that can later be searched and filter to find specific information for reports. That’s the main advantage. Other benefits revolve around accuracy, flexibility, collaboration, trust and security. Popular relational databases include Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, and MySQL. What’s your experience with relational databases? Let us know in the comments and remember to hit that like button.