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Word Count: 639
Large databases can contain hundreds of interrelated files Fortunately a database management system can shieldusers from the complex inner workings of the system providing them with only the information and commandsthey need to get their jobs done In fact a well-designed database puts on different faces for different classes ofThe earliest file management programs could only do batch processing which required users to accumulatetransactions and feed them into computers in large batches These batch systems werent able to provide the kindof immediate feedback we expect today Today disk drives inexpensive memory and sophisticated software have allowed interactive processing toreplace batch processing for most applications Users can now interact with data through terminals viewing andchanging values in real time Batch processing is still used for printing periodic bills invoices and reports and formaking backup copies of data files But for applications that demand immediacy such as airline reservationsbanking transactions and the like interactive multiuser database systems have taken overUntil recently most databases were housed in mainframe computers But for a growing number of organizationsthe traditional centralized database on a mainframe system is no longer the norm Some companies use a clientserver approach Database software in client desktop computers works with filesstored in central server databases on mainframes minicomputers or desktop computers Other companies use distributed databases that use data strewn out across networks on several differentFrom the users point of view the differences between these approaches may not be apparent Many computer scientists believe that the relational data model may be supplanted in the next decade by anobject-oriented data model and that most future databases will be object-oriented databases rather thanrelational databases Instead of storing records in tables and hierarchies object-oriented databases store softwareobjects that contain procedures or instructions along with data Object-oriented databases often are used inconjunction with object-oriented programming languages Tomorrows databases will be able to respond intelligently to commands and queries issued in natural humanRules of Thumb Dealing with DatabasesA few common-sense rules
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