Databases

This is a discussion on Databases within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Why is there so much of an emphasis on databases and database applications in the programming world? I ask a ...

  1. #1
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    Question Databases

    Why is there so much of an emphasis on databases and database applications in the programming world? I ask a lot of people what they do for a living, and they say, "I develop database software for such-an-such company."

    Is creating a bunch of tables that look nice with data in the cells so important that they take up half of the programming work force? Does it take half the programming work force to make Excel-like applications?

    Why the emphasis?
    Last edited by DavidP; 02-21-2002 at 09:23 PM.
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    It looks a helluva lot better than saying "I develop porn dialers for my warez site"

  3. #3
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> Excel-like applications?

    Don't judge databases by Excel. Excel is an okay little thing for a PC or a small server, but when you start storing Terabytes of online data that has to be managed fast and efficiently, Excel just doesn't begin. Oracle or Sybase for example, eat that stuff for breakfast.

    Now consider, many large organisations have Terabytes of data and need it managed fast and efficiently.

    Now consider your question again!!!
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    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    >Don't judge databases by Excel

    And Excel isn't even a database software ! Excel is a little spreadsheet thingy. An office tool. Something to do your little calculations with. A tool that is easier than paper and calculator, but by no means neccessary for the work done. A database is a mighty data storage tool. If people talk of databases, most of them mean record counts that are too high to type in by hand and sometimes even to high to imagine.

    Take an adress database. It has 50.000.000 records. And that's only the adresses of one country. No international stuff. 50.000.000. Try to imagine that number. You need logic to search in there. You cannot just give a user a SQL-Window like "this is the database, type in your SQL statement here". You need user interfaces and bussiness logic.
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    Nv, have you used Oracle 9i? Is this much like SQL Server 2000.

  6. #6
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    >>Excel is a little spreadsheet thingy. An office tool. Something to do your little calculations with. A tool that is easier than paper and calculator, but by no means neccessary for the work done.


    Although I can not argue that excel is database, it is a very usefull tool.

    It is probably the application I use the most due to my job......I use it every day to produce reports and to interigate data......Personally I prefer to dump data in excel and do my manipulation there.....

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    I guess the guy meant to say access rather than excel. When I took financial mathematics we used excel quite a bit, same with managerial accounting.

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    Registered User Nutshell's Avatar
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    I develop database software for such-an-such company.
    Ok, now i understand why companies need database. But what do u mean by 'developing' a database? I suppose you mean writing the program. BUT once the database program, or DBMS is finished, what else is there to do? Everything now works perfectly wif very few bugs?

  9. #9
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    First, a misconception. When someone says they are developing database software, they are rarely talking about the database software itself, (Oracle , Sybase etc.), these come as working Databasing systems. What you then need to do is design and build applications which use these tools as their data repository. People who are "developing database software" for a company which is not a specialist database supplier are writing database applications.

    Second, if you have ever worked in even a semi large organisation, you will know that applications are never finished! As you roll out your first production release, the list of known modifications is already huge. Why? Simply because in the time it takes to put release 1.0 together, the business has moved on and the business assumptions made when the spec for 1.0 was frozen have changed.

    >>> Everything now works perfectly wif very few bugs?

    Yes, of course everything eventually gets to th(/%/#()&%#"()="=!=!!!!!
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  10. #10
    Registered User rick barclay's Avatar
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    Databases make the world go round, they make business go
    round, they make this website and these forums go round.
    And the complexity of designing and writing a relational
    database, once it dawns on you as it has me, will knock your
    socks off. Everything you see on this page before you is part
    of a database consisting of tables, objects, fields, key items, all
    of which have been designed and implemented to work in tandem in such a way that you as a lay person take little or no
    notice of the mass of background activity taking place as you
    merrily type your messages and await their replies.

    Any webmaster will who runs a vBoard will tell just how critical it
    is for him to familiarize himself and his staff with the workings
    of a MySQL database, and once you start the learning process,
    you too will see why databases are not simply rows and columns
    and tables, but a medium which almost takes on a living, breathing
    life of its own as it passes and processes information lightning-like in the background, to an unknown and unconcerned user.

    Then, once you understand that, apply it to the entire Internet,
    with all its business transactions and data shifting, and you might
    begin to get the answer to your question. The internet itself
    is one monstrous database bringing you the information you need to complete your homework, buy you books, decide which
    movies to see, which computers to buy, which books to read,
    which team won or lost, is presently winning or losing, blah, blah, blah, on and on forever.

    The very composition of a web page itself is styled after a
    database. Web sites are no longer composed line-by-line,
    but rather by tables with rows and columns of varying size
    and form which then display the content in ways that are
    imaginative, convenient, and pleasing to the eyes.

    Today, we eat sleep and breath databases because without them we wouldn't be able to track the data we do at the
    speeds we do over the distances we do. So, yeah, they're
    important, baby, and though I might at one time have pooh,
    poohed them in the same fashion as most people do today, that
    is no longer the case. If you like the Internet and want to stand
    any chance at all to make a living off of it, then you'd darn well
    be advised to start learning to database asap.

    rick barclay
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  11. #11
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    >Why is there so much of an emphasis on databases and
    >database applications in the programming world?

    Is it? Most programmers I know aren't involved in database programming. One of them is. The others are all involved in creating software for embedded systems and telecom.

    But there sure is a lot of interest in databases. They are used a lot. I think that each organisation uses one or more databases.
    Last edited by Shiro; 02-22-2002 at 11:12 AM.

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