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Whether we are aware of it or not database systems play an extensive role in our everyday lives From a user profile on a simple website to a corporate payroll system the data we take for granted is stored on machines using database software packages There are several different types and styles of databases ranging from the more complex systems like Oracle and Microsoft SQL server to less complicated or personal databases like Microsoft Access or FileMaker Pro The basic difference between these types of systems is the amount of information they can store and process and how quickly they can accomplish these tasks Most of the database systems have versions to accommodate the various operating systems ranging from Microsoft based Server OS UNIX RedHat and Mac OS X Databases are designed by programmers using various techniques One example of these programming techniques is called relational database design In laymans terms relational databases are designed to store data related to each other in different tables of information The tables are all related to each other based on a key piece of data called an ID Since the tables are related to each other different pieces of data can be manipulated around the IDs and reported on accordingly New tables can be added to the database with ease as long as the corresponding IDs are referenced This makes changes to software and upgrades easier for the programmers to accomplish Since there could be millions and millions of pieces of data stored in a database programmers take advantage of build in code to speed up the searches and data retrieval This built in code are known as indexes Putting an index on a database table allows the database software to treat the data contained in a special manner When an index is placed on a field of a table in the database the program will look there first when looking for data This speeds up the
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