Modern society is driven by data. Whether it is at a personal level, like a
notebook containing scribbled notes; or at a countrywide level like Census
data, it has permeated all our workflows. There is always a growing need
to efficiently store and organize it so that meaningful information can be
extracted out of raw data.
A database is nothing but a collection of organized data. It doesn’t
have to be in a digital format to be called a database. A telephone directory
is a good example, which stores data about people and organizations with
a contact number. A to-do list is also a rudimentary form of a database.
With ever-larger amounts of data being collected about even the most
mundane of processes, digital databases have become increasingly
important since their inception in the 1960s.
Software that is used to manage a digital database is called a Database
Management System (DBMS). When you hear someone talking about
PostgreSQL or MySQL, they are referring to a DBMS. A database is what is
created when you use the DBMS software to store data about topics that
make sense to you or your organization. For example, your company may
use PostgreSQL to store inventory information about cellular phones – the
product that you sell. In this case, you have created an inventory database
using PostgreSQL as your DBMS.
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