There are two main types of database; flat-file and relational. Which is the best one to use for a particular job will depend on factors such as the type and the amount of data to be processed; not to mention how frequently it will be used.


The flat-file style of database are ideal for small amounts of data that needs to be human readable or edited by hand. Essentially all they are made up of is a set of strings in one or more files that can be parsed to get the information they store; great for storing simple lists and data values, but can get complicated when you try to replicate more complex data structures.

Database Management (DBM)

The Database Management Layer allows script programmers to store information as a pair of strings; a key, which is used to find the associated value. Essentially, a DBM adds more functionality and better sortation during storage to the binary flat-files that it uses. There are several versions of DBMs available, but the most popular is the Berkley Database Manager; also known as the Berkley DB.


The relational databases such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, have a much more logical structure in the way that it stores data. Tables can be used to represent real world objects, with each field acting like an attribute. For example, a table called books could have the columns title, author and ISBN, which describe the details of each book where each row in the table is a new book.

Database Comparisons

In most cases, you would want your database to support various types of relations; such databases, particularly if designed correctly, can dramatically improve the speed of data retrieval as well as being easier to maintain. Ideally, you will want to avoid the replication of data within a database to keep a high level of integrity, otherwise changes to one field will have to be made manually to those that are related.

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