Posted by: ahmedashfaque | May 9, 2015

database table joins


We all have heard about relational databases but do not understand from where they get their power. Let us understand why relational databases are so powwerful.

Everybody uses spreadsheets. They are neat and allow you to store information in a structured way. You use them to store customer information. You use them to store contact details of friends. In fact spreadsheets are so common and popular that they are used for many purposes by many people.

Spreadsheets are good for storing small amount of data. Imagine if you need to store data which is in the range of millions of records. Can you do it on a spreadsheet? Definitely not. A spreadsheet can store information as much as some few thousand records but not more than that. What are some other limitations of a spreadsheet?

  • searching records through a spreadsheet is difficult
  • searching records through a spreadsheet takes time
  • retrieving data from a spreadsheet and using it in some other application is difficult

When it comes to storing, retrieving and managing huge amount of data then relational databases have no match. The power of relational databases comes from their ability to store data kept into many places and when required then retrieve this data at ultra fast speeds. When you store your data in a spreadsheet, you are storing your data in a flat file. But when you store your data in a relational database you are storing your data in a 3 dimensional space.

A relational database is known as relational because it allows to create relationship among tables and entities. Storing data in the most minutest level and then aggregating them when retrieved allows a relational database to make powerful information processing.

It is the ability to create relationships which allows a relational database to store vast amounts of data in a single database. These relationships also allow data to be stored in such a manner that the data integrity and referential relationships are always intact. No redundant data and no inconsistent data is possible when a relational database is designed carefully. So for instance a large company can store all its mission critical data in a relational database no matter how large this data can be. And yet all this data is safe and when required, any data can be retrieved at ultra fast speed.

Indeed there is no match for a relational database when number crunching matters.

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