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Lesson 13. Connecting to Data Sources > Understanding Databases

Understanding Databases

The topic of database theory is deep. Entire books have been written on the subject. Serious application developers need to master a lot of database theory before they can create sophisticated applications. But as with most technical subjects, you can get a lot done with just a basic understanding of the technology at hand. My goal in these lessons is to give you some experience working with databases, DSNs, and dynamic pages, so you can build common applications right away and are primed to take on more advanced books or training if you so desire.

Databases are made up of a series of tables. A database table is a collection of rows and columns, and it looks very much like an Excel spreadsheet. What makes database tables special is that they can link to one another. For example, imagine a small business that sells pet products online. This business' database might include three tables, as follows:


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