Principles of Database Design

An Introduction to
Database Management Systems
R. Nakatsu
Why do we need a database?
Data is easier to manage
Too much data in individual files
Too many separate files
Need multiple views of data
Improved data sharing (concurrent updating)
Improved data security
Databases can better enforce data quality
Leads to better data integration
File-Processing Systems
Problems with File-Processing
Data are separated and isolated
Data are often duplicated
Incompatible data files
Program-Data Dependence
Databases are Centralized
What is a database?
A database is an integrated collection of logically
related data elements. A database consolidates
records previously stored in separate files.
A database can be viewed as the topmost element of
a data hierarchy:
database (a set of related files)
file (a collection of related records)
record (a group of logically related fields)
field (an attribute)
character (single alphabet, number, or other symbol)
Database Systems, 9th Edition
Related Terminology:
Three ways to refer to the same thing
Database Components
Page 26
© 2000 Prentice Hall
Types of Data
User data
Application Metadata
1. User Data
A table of data is called a relation
Columns are fields or attributes
Rows are specific instances
Relations must be structured properly
Database Systems, 9th Edition
2. Metadata or
Data Dictionary
“a description of the structure of the database”
System tables store metadata, including:
table names
field names
primary key fields
data types
field size
data constraints (e.g., input masks, and validation rules)
relationships between tables
Physical vs. Logical Storage
Physical Storage is how the computer actually
stores the data
Logical Storage is how the human end-user
views or perceives the data
Indexes create a logical view on your data.
3. Indexes
An index is an ordered arrangement of keys and
pointers; they are created on fields (or
combinations of fields) that are frequently
Quicker access to data
Lets you sort data more easily
Requires overhead processing: every time a
row is updated or deleted, the index must also
be updated.
4. Application Metadata
Stores the structure and format of:
other application components
Hierarchy of Data Elements
Database Management
System (DBMS)
A DBMS (database management system) is a
set of computer programs that is used to
create, maintain, and provide controlled
access to user databases
DBMS: Main Functions
Data definition
Data manipulation
You can select which data you want, filter it, sort it, join
it with other data, summarize it.
Application Development
Define what data is stored, the type of data, how the
data is related.
You can also specify how the data can be formatted
and validated
Graphical tools to develop menus, forms, and reports
Data control
Allows you to specify security, transaction
management, backup and recovery
Strategic Information Systems
Computer systems that help the organization
gain a competitive advantage. Systems can be
created to:
Explore, identify, and occupy new market
Understand the customer value chain better.
Learn faster and more deeply than
Databases for Competitive
Advantage: Walmart
Continuous Replenishment System:
Point of sale terminals record the bar code
whenever a customer purchases a product.
A database stores inventory data
Suppliers can access Walmart’s sales and
inventory data online using the Web.
Databases for Competitive
Advantage: Big Data and Amazon
Big Data: Collecting and analyzing massive and
complex data sets to gain insights.
Question for discussion: What is Amazon doing
with all its data?
Why do we need a database?
File processing systems vs. databases
What is a database?
The four types of data
Databases for Competitive Advantage