True, a few years ago database man- agers were forbidding and dull, but now they're one of the most competi- tive arenas in the software world.
Software developers have learned that it takes more than horsepower to bring new users into the fold.
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This solid brass mdhgpoly'" game coin is Board sliown much smaller than actual size of set Into ttie banker's drawer handle, to ZOV L X 20 V W X 3" H, forever identify this Collector's Edition. ■'% m::; ^f U^- Every day, we're engulfed with important details to sort and file away.
Each cus- tomer record is given only 200 bytes (or 2000), and the fields within are also stored in fixed sizes (30 charac- ters for the last name, 25 for the city name, and so on).
Of course, the per- son designing the database deter- mines those sizes.
Ever notice how Microsoft registra- tion cards are divided into boxes, one per letter, like this?
Last nameil CIAIMIPIEILILI I I I I I I Microsoft asks you to print and to employ a couple of odd conventions (the tail of the Q points up instead of down) for its optical character recog- nition system, which automatically translates your printing into computer- readable format.
Compiled languages such as C, Pascal, and Quick BASIC can always run faster than database programs, but they won't be nearly as flexible or as easy to maintain.
f\/lost database languages are rea- sonably easy to understand, even to the uninitiated user.
You can display the contents of a database with a single keyword. Trying to do either of these things in C, Pascal, BASIC, or any other tradi- tional programming ianguage would require literally thousands of lines of code to open, close, and view data- base files; and it could never be as clear to the user because there are no database-handling keywords in these languages. Yes if your application relies heavily on data- base features, no if it's not a database program or if execution speed is most important. ) Database Details Broadly speaking, a DBMS is any pro- gram that stores information by cate- gory and lets you get at that informa- tion in an orderly manner.
To program well in any tra- ditional language requires months of study, but database languages are unique in that even a novice can create significant applications with only a few hours' perusal of Vne manual. Parts inven- tories, mailing lists, accounting sys- tems, and order retrieval systems are all databases and require a DBMS.
The reason a DBMS imposes this rather severe limitation is speed — a recurrent theme in database manage- ment systems.