A collection of data items organized as a set of formally-described tables from which data can be accessed or reassembled in many different ways without having to reorganize the database tables. The standard user and application program interface to a relational database is the structured query language (SQL). SQL statements are used both for interactive queries for information from a relational database and for gathering data for reports. In addition to being relatively easy to create and access, a relational database has the important advantage of being easy to extend. After the original database creation, a new data category can be added without requiring that all existing applications be modified. A relational database is a set of tables containing data fitted into predefined categories. Each table (which is sometimes called a relation) contains one or more data categories in columns. Each row contains a unique instance of data for the categories defined by the columns. For example, a typical business order entry database would include a table that described a customer with columns for name, address, phone number, and so forth. Another table would describe an order: product, customer, date, sales price, and so forth. A user of the database could obtain a view of the database that fitted the user's needs. For example, a branch office manager might like a view or report on all customers that had bought products after a certain date. A financial services manager in the same company could, from the same tables, obtain a report on accounts that needed to be paid. When creating a relational database, the domain of possible values in a data column can be defined as well as further constraints that may apply to that data value. For example, a domain of possible customers could allow up to ten possible customer names but be constrained in one table to allowing only three of these customer names to be specifiable.
- Relational database
Used in Profiles