What is a database?

A database is an organised collection of data. People use databases of all sizes and shapes. There are large databases such as airline ticket information and library catalogue systems. People also create small databases such as home inventories and address books.
Databases are not a new development. We have been using manual databases for hundreds of years. One common example of a
manual database is the telephone book. It is a database arranged alphabetically by family name. Electronic databases have several advantages over manual databases. They make it easy to:

• store large quantities of information using storage devices
• search and sort data quickly and accurately to obtain the required information
 • organise information in different ways—data is updated without having to retype all the data
• present information in different ways using tables, forms and reports.


Electronic Databases

The actual data in a database is stored in Tables like the one below. The columns are called Fields. Each column shows the Field Name at the top. Each row is called a Record. This view of the information is called the Datasheet View. Datasheet view displays the data as rows and columns in a table.

Parts of a database

Telephone Books are a form of database


  1. Create a Mahara Page for your Database notes and Exercises (Notes about how to user Mahara are here).
  2. Write a definition for the following words : Database, Record, Field, Field Name.
  3. Refer to the picture Parts of a database to answer the following questions :

a. What field name is in the second column of data?
b. Who is the seventh record for?
c. How many children are in the list?
d. How many people were born in 1965?
e. Who is the database owner’s roommate?
f. Which field displays the word ‘AutoNumber’?
g. What is the name of the table?