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Lesson 8. Databases on the Web > A Crash Course on Databases

A Crash Course on Databases

A tutorial-based book should keep you actively working, so I try to refrain from pausing the action for long-winded passages explaining esoterica. But you will not get very far developing dynamic Web sites if you do not have a solid familiarity (though not necessarily expertise) with databases. In this section, I'll introduce you to basic database concepts and vocabulary, using Microsoft Access. I strongly encourage you to spend additional time learning to work with databases, as you continue to master dynamic Web site development. For now, this section should be enough to get you started.

Introducing Database Objects

In the simplest terms, a database is a system of storage for data. But in contemporary use, the term database generally means a lot more—certainly in the case of Microsoft Access or an enterprise-level database system, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. Each of these is a relational database management system (RDBMS). The RDBMS model was developed in the 1970s and 1980s to enable database managers to store data in a way that reflected relationships between different types of data. We'll return to the idea of relationships momentarily, but first you should understand the objects that make up databases.


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