Ata, database, and database management systems

Based on readings listed:

Data, information, knowledge and their interrelationships: virtualclassroom/chap7/s2/dbcon1.pdf

Chong, R, Hakes, I, and Ahuja, R., Getting Started with DB2 Express-C. Retrieved from FREE+Book-+Getting+Started+with+DB2+Express-C?S_TACTindex&S_CMPexpcsite , Chapter 1 a What is DB2 Express-C?; Chapter 3 a DB2 Installation.

SQL Tutorial: cgs/rghm/quakes/historical/index.htm

Object-oriented database management system: object-oriented-database-management-system

Additional information to assist with the paper:
Applications of databases are ubiquitous in your daily life and the organizations you are associated with
The median salary for a database administrator is $95,000 in LA county, California (according to, 2011 data). It pays to learn.

So what is a database anyway? A database is a structure that holds organized data (raw facts) and information (data that are processed to answer questions) for storage, access, update, and manipulation. Very often, people confuse database with database management systems (DBMS), DBMS is software that we use to create and manipulate databases, e.g. DB2 which is used for this course, Access, and Oracle. The relationship between DBMS and Databases is similar to the homework file you create using Microsoft Office.

Compared to using flat files such as Microsoft Excel, databases offer many advantages:

it holds much more data
since the data and the applications that manipulate data is separate, it is easier for databases to keep data integrity
it can be accessed by multiple users at the same time (this claim needs to be modified now multiple users can access excel simultaneously using skydrive although it is not quite user friendly)
efficient operations through performance optimization.

There are many types of databases based on the manner that the data is stored, organized, and manipulated:

Hierarchical model
Network model
Relational model
Object-relational model
Object model

The most popular one is relational database which is the focus of this course. In relational databases, data is stored in a collection tables with shared columns, each table contains multiple records with unique field(s) that distinguish one record from the others. These tables look similar to the Excel spreadsheets that you are familiar with. For example, hereas a customer information table at a high end store database:

Customer ID


phone number


John Wayne

Mountain view


John Smith

Long Beach

Mary Jane

Los Alamitos

More discussion on relational data modeling will be covered in module 2. Modern DBMSs are quite user friendly, it is easy to build a database quickly without giving too much consideration about database design, that creates redundancies and anomaly later. Therefore, we strongly suggest you to resist this temptation, solid relational database design takes time and patience to learn. This course will cover database design methodology in module 3. The methodology of designing relational databases can be summarized into the following steps:

Determine the scope of the project and identify all relevant Entities and Relationships (module 1 and 2)
Use Entity Relationship diagram to capture these entities and relationship. (module 2)
Convert the ER model to a number of relations. (module 2 and 3
Go through a process called normalization to eliminate or reduce redundancy by splitting relations.(module 4)

Database design is a very important processing before you start creating databases. After we finish database design, we can use SQL (Structured Query Language) to create, populate, and manipulate databases.

For example, if the store is having promotion event in Long beach, use the following SQL statement to retrieve the customers names who lives in Long beach:


FROM Customer

WHERE cityaLong Beacha;

More details on SQL commands are introduced in Module 4.

As we mentioned earlier, there are many kinds of RDBMS(relational database management systems). The one used in this course is IBM DB2 Express-C since it is popular and it is free.

You are required to write a 3-5 paper titled

An Introduction to Database technology and Database Management”

You should include the following topics in your discussion, not necessarily in the same order:

Discuss differences among data, information, and knowledge
Why use database? what are the advantages using it?
What is a database management system?
Discuss various kinds of DBMSs?
Compare relational database verse object oriented database