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"Database" (Database Management System) DBMS - it's a computer based collection of different files within specific restrictions. Database works as a very functional part of reality and serves to public, institutions, companies etc. "Database finds its application in creating and managing information in computer systems. (Simon, Shaffer, 2002, s.147)

Purpose of Database

"The major function of database is storage of information as well as editing already existing data which is used on daily bases by certain organization. Therefore, for instance every university works based on the same principles in order to keep track of students in the university and class enrollment. Since the information changes every semester database has to be well maintained to keep the system in functional conditions. The structure is very simple and follows logical principles, almost always hierarchic schema, thus database is also known as: file collection. (Cieciura,2006, s.89)

Functions of Database

Updating Functions- a transaction is an updating function, modifying database and changing old information to new. Updating functions play significant role in university database such:

  • Semester initiation/enrollment
  • Suggest a module
  • Cancel module
  • Enroll student into a course
  • Enroll student into a module
  • Transfer student to another module

Functions and relations – updating and relations functions play interchangeable role in the system. In case of updating functions we deal with constant conditions which represent data integrity.

Updating function: transfer student X from module 1 to module 2

Given conditions:

  • student X passes module 1
  • student X fails module 2
  • module 2 is available


  • disagree that student X is passing module 1
  • confirm that student is passing module 2

Verification Functions- do not modify existing data in any way:

  • is course X available?
  • did student X pass course Y?

Benefits of Database

Database can be characterized by the following properties:

  • data accessibility- information stored in database is not only used to be accessed by only one person, but to be used by multiple people to access needed information even at the same time.
  • data integrity- data accessibility is very useful and can makes operating large database very simple. However, in order to have a large scale system running efficiently we need a good maintenance.
  • database integrity to be fully effective and efficient needs to be designed within specific scope of the project requirements in order to store needed information and prevent future problems.
  • information security- one of the main security features is to assure that database is accessible only for users who are allowed to have access and also by restricting access to certain information by password.
  • abstract data- database can be treated as a real life object that reflects day-to-day operations.
  • data independency - data is separated form processes which use that data.

"These benefits satisfy conditions of ideal database that could be used by a large company or even a government institution. Such properties are indispensable when it comes database design and security and at this point such high standard in only partially achievable". (Paul Beynon-Davies 1993, s.26)


Author: Paweł Węgrzynowski