A systemic collection of data. It is information that is set up for easy access, management and updating. This is all run by a data management system.
Small databases are often located on personal computers using a file system. Larger ones employ the cloud storage or clusters of computers.
Examples of data that is stored:
Types Of Databases
There are many different kinds. A few examples are:
Distributed Relational Object-Oriented Centralized Open Source
All are designed to make data management easier. The Internet changed out we interact with data. One of the things it did was create a lot more of it. All activity, whether it is our phone, websites, or just surfing the web, is generating data. This is multiplied by the fact that it is not only humans creating it. For example, each Tesla vehicle is generating data and sending it to a centralized data system.
Database base security is one of the most vital aspects of computing. Over the years, corporations were aversely affected by hacks. Much of this had to do with personal data of customers that was sold on the dark web.
Companies spend huge sums of money trying to protect the data they collect. Failure to do so can not only result in a lot of confidence by users/customers but can also see trade secrets exposed.
Database security is concerned with a couple things. It seeks to provide protection from intentional unauthorized database uses and unintentional database accesses by unauthorized entities. The goal is to keep people out who should not have access the information in said database.
Data management systems often assign privileges to different users. This basically provides a level of clearance to particular aspects of the system. Entry takes place because the user has permission yet not all the data might be available.
For example, the CEO of a company could have the rights to all aspects of the company whereas a salesperson is not allowed to see payroll data.
Servers that contain the databases are a point of failure. Most major entities got hacked including social media companies like Facebook, banks and other financial institutions, along with governments agencies.
Data security is concerned with protecting specific chunks of data from corruption, removal, or destruction. It also focuses upon preventing the interpretation of a string of data such as credit card numbers.
Bitcoin was the first blockchain network to gain popularity. It is a database of financial transactions similar to a bank. All balances are updated as new blocks are validated, keeping an up-to-date ledger.
The databases are decentralized in that the nodes are run by unrelated entities (or individuals). This differs slightly from distributed which are copies of a database on number computers under the control of a single entity.
Ethereum added to this concept with the introduction of the smart contract. These are self executing agreements between two parties without human interaction.
From a database perspective, this introduced the storage of data more than just financial. It opened up the door to more than just monetary data.
One of the key factors of blockchain is that the decentralization makes the databases immutable. That means that once a block is validated, the data cannot be changed. This is because the entire database is run simultaneously on different servers with nobody having control. If a node does try change some of the data, the rest of the network will reject it.
Access is also handled different. The account management system is based upon the private keys. Anyone holding it has access to the contents of the wallet or whatever is tied to it. This is a change from the traditional system where accounts are established by the companies that people are doing business with.
Public blockchains are known as permission-less. Anyone is free to add (write) data to the network. Applications can be constructed utilizing the account management. The only requirement is to have the coin that provides access through transaction fees or some other quantitative system.
Private blockchains are being experimented with. Public databases are immutable yet transparent. This is not functional for private data. The idea is that an industry or group of companies can each set up a network that the public cannot see. It is an idea that is thought to be feasible for supply chain information.