Why Databases ?
One of the most important applications associated with the introduction of computers to the today world, is its information management capacity. The integration of programs that handle this information and perform with it, not only counts, statistics, classifications, legal systems, but also actions such as printing documents, massive correspondence, identification of commonalities, and many others, have made that databases will become one of the most important computer applications, not only for the common user, but for institutions , Companies, banks, companies, public utilities and private and governmental entities related to planning and statistics, the police institutions and many others.
To not lose sight of the scope and objectives of this Website, we will not refer to ” those big ” Bases of data, but applications in ‘domestic scale’ or staff of such programs.
What they are?
First of all, let’s look at what the databases are.
When we have a large amount of information to manage, organize, select and filter by one or more of its characteristics, the ideal (and modern) way of doing it is through what we call databases. We illustrate this with an example.
If you are a collector of music and has a collection of CDs of various artists, authors, genres, countries and times and want to have it classified to locate, identify and make written reports of the items in its collection, could make annotations on paper or card and make a kind of file with the information. This is not difficult to do if you have 40 or 50 discs and what you want to manage as their music, are only 4 or 5 parameters.
In this case you could locate with relative ease, for example, all the music by a sane composer, or all the artists who have made a version of a song, and in general any information you want within your tabs or pages written.
But suppose that your collection is 400 or 500 discs, and you wish to have rated and ranked your information with additional information, for example:
Artists who play them
Composers who created them
Album in which were released
Their releases dates
Genre to which they belong
If you had to locate information in that “giant file” to share with other collectors, quite possibly would eventually abandoning “the task” in a short time, since his Hobby as a collector of music would become one burden rather than an enjoyment.
Another notable example is the information of the members of a Club or association, or of its collection of books, or cooking recipes, or your address book, in the end, any task or hobby that requires lots of information management, is a potential application of the databases.
If what comes to your mind is: “But I don’t know how to make databases”, or “What the databases are”?, then I am pleased to inform you that thanks to the existence of the personal computers and to the work of an infinite number of Software developers, it is today very easy structure in your home, Office, Club , etc. a database that handles lots of information with absolute precision.
The most important concept you need to understand and manage is the ‘Field’.
Fields of a database are not more than the headings of each feature of the information. The rest is to define the format under which that information will be stored. Thus, the information fields will contain dates, should have this format, fields that only contain names, for example, must have alphanumeric format, fields that contain ages are numerical, and so on.
Else, generation of reports, search filters, sorting of information, etc. is responsible the programs that can be purchased in the market, sometimes even for free.
Even most of those programs include instructions and recommendations for structuring your database in the most convenient way. So, try it with some of their needs, hobbies or interests. It is not difficult and once you already have in use your first information manager, as many call them, will bless the existence of these powerful tools.
According to its popularity the best known are:
- Microsoft Access
- Apple FileMaker
- LibreOffice Base Database