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What is a Database Application?

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  • 0:04 What Is a Database…
  • 0:54 How Databases Work
  • 1:34 Advantages Over Spreadsheets
  • 2:44 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and extensive experience working in the business world as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a financial advice firm.

From social media to your bank, practically everything you do depends on a database. Database applications are used to access those databases in an efficient and secure way.

What Is a Database Application?

Since the beginning of time, businesses have been depending on data and information. After all, some scholars believe writing developed with Sumerian businessmen keeping track of accounts by writing receipts on tablets of clay. With today's abundance of ways to create data, there has to be a way to keep track of it all. That's what a database application does.

Database applications allow users to gain access to the data they need. More importantly, they filter out any unnecessary data, permitting users to only have access to the records that they need. Most importantly of all, they keep data safe, while allowing multiple users to access data in a streamlined fashion. In this lesson, we'll look at how databases work, as well as some advantages of databases over spreadsheets.

How Databases Work

Before we go any further, let's make sure we understand how a database works. Databases are made up of tables, which hold data that is organized in rows, also called records, and columns. Each column has a specified data type, while each row or record is an entry. As such, if you were to keep a database on employees, each row would be an employee's name, while each column would be something like 'position' or 'start date.' Because of the fact that database users only summon the data they need when they need it, databases can hold truly massive amounts of data, with many more rows and columns than would be practical in another format.

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