A relational database is a collection of data elements that are linked together by pre-defined relationships. These elements are laid down in a table format with columns and rows. Tables store data about the things that will be represented in the database.
- A field keeps the actual value of an attribute, while each column in a table holds a specific type of data.
- The table’s rows indicate a group of linked values for a single object or entity. A primary key is a unique identifier assigned to each row in a table, and foreign keys are used to link rows from different tables.
- Without restructuring the database tables, this data can be accessed in a variety of ways.
Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)?
A relational database management system (RDBMS) is a program for creating, updating, and administering relational databases.
- The SQL language is used to access the database in most relational database management systems.
Relational databases store data in tables. Tables can grow large and have a multitude of columns and records. Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) use SQL (and variants of SQL) to manage the data in these large tables. The RDBMS you use is your choice and depends on the complexity of your application.
What is SQL?
- SQL (Structured Query Language) is a computer language for interacting with data in relational database management systems.
- The syntax of SQL is comparable to that of English, making it very simple to write, understand, and interpret.
- To access data in tables, several RDBMSs employ SQL (and variations of SQL). SQLite is a relational database management system, for example.
- SQLite comes with a basic set of SQL commands (which are the same across all RDBMSs). Other RDBMSs may employ different variants.
Examples of Relational Database Management Systems
- MySQL is the most popular open source SQL database. It is typically used for web application development, and often accessed using PHP.
- The main advantages of MySQL are that it is easy to use, inexpensive, reliable (has been around since 1995), and has a large community of developers who can help answer questions.
- PostgreSQL is a free and open source SQL database. It is commonly used in the building of web applications.
- Many of the advantages of PostgreSQL are similar to those of MySQL. Which includes simplicity, affordability, reliance, and the presence of a strong developer community. It also comes with certain other capabilities, such as foreign key support, that don’t require any complicated settings.
- The biggest downside of PostgreSQL is that it can be slower than other databases like MySQL in terms of performance. It’s also a little more well-known than MySQL.
- Oracle Database is owned by Oracle Corporation, and the code is not open sourced.
- Oracle DB is designed for large-scale applications, such as those in the banking industry. Because Oracle offers a powerful combination of technology and extensive, pre-integrated business applications, including crucial functionality created expressly for banks, Oracle applications are used by the majority of the world’s top banks.
- The main disadvantage of Oracle is that, unlike its open source competitors, it is not free to use and can be quite expensive.
Factors to consider when Chooseing a Relational Database
Below we highlight key factors you must put into consideration when selecting a relational database system for whatever project you are working on.
Initial Setup and Future Possible Upgrade
- Setting up a DBMS, optimizing it for ideal operations, and future-proofing it for growth requires adequate flexibility for integration into the current data infrastructure.
- Synchronization with other platforms is also essential for uninterrupted workflow.
- Every DBMS will provide different security methods, like encryption, customizable routines, and access rights, to protect your data.
- These should all be carefully considered during the evaluation process. You probably want access controls like authorization and authentication to be default features, meaning data in tables within a RDBMS is limited to access by specific users.
Data Model (Complexity)
- How will you tell which model is right for your data? If you need to work with unstructured data, then a relational model won’t work.
- NoSQL databases are often available as open source, whereas a RBDMS is usually a commercial purchase.
- Your accuracy needs, as well as whether or not to rely on business logic, are some of the questions you’ll be asking yourself here.
- For example, financial data and government reports will be subject to more strict requirements.