A database is defined as a way to organize data in a particular format. There are many applications that can be used for databases. Any program or service that stores and/or retrieves information can be included in a database.

If you are just beginning using databases, continue reading to learn what you need to know about databases. The following facts and tips will help increase your productivity and improve the ease of using databases.

The Core of a Relational Database is SQL

Structured Query Language, SQL, forms are the core of all relational databases. SQL  is a uniform interface for relational databases like Microsoft Access, SQL Server and Oracle. If you are an aspiring database user, you must learn about SQL. One of the best ways to do this is to take an introductory course on SQL. This should be done before you try to use any specific database software. The time that you spend learning SQL will help to ensure you build a proper foundation for your database. If you are interested in taking an introductory course on SQL, check out W2Schools.com. This is a wonderful place for beginners to start learning about SQL.

Primary Keys are Important

The selection of your primary keys is one of the most critical things when you are designing a new database. You want to ensure that your primary keys are unique. Your primary key should not have an attribute that may have two records like past, present or future values. When you are dealing with this type of issue, you will need to put your thinking cap on and think creatively. You should also avoid values that include private information like Social Security numbers, addresses, banking information, etc.

NULL Does Not Mean Zero

NULL is a special value in databases. Oftentimes, beginners get confused about NULL and what exactly it means because many assume that NULL means zero; however, it actually is interpreted as “unknown”. If a quantity is NULL it doesn’t mean it is zero, it means that it is unknown. If a text field contains a NULL value, it means that the information is unknown. For example, if a database is made containing the information of the children who attend a school and the person entering the information does not know the age of a student, a NULL value will be entered to indicate that the information is unknown. Although each student is a particular age, the information is not present in the database.

You Can Convert Your Spreadsheets to Databases to Save You Time

If you have a lot of data stored on a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, you can convert these into database tables, which will save you a lot of time when developing your database.

Not All Databases Are Created Equal

There are many different types of databases available. The cost of the different types of databases depends on the features that are available. You can use an online database designer to create your own custom options

Full-featured enterprise databases are developed to handle a plethora of data for multinational enterprises. Conversely, a desktop database is great to track inventory for a small business with only a couple of users.