Understanding How to Use Your Database

A database is dependent upon software to arrange the data to be stored. This software is called the database management system (DBMS). Once your database is installed, you will need to learn how to use it. The database will normally run so smoothly you will never know it is running. However, should you need to know how to modify something or back it up, the ability to do so will be made easier by following a few instructions.


How to Access Your Database

MySQL and PHP are the two databases used most frequently. When going to the PHP database, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have PHPMyAdmin. If you do not have it, you can download the application and install it on your computer. This is a simple process and the benefits of this utility are quite apparent when it comes to accessing your SQL databases.

If you have to install this application, once you have it on your computer, log in and you are ready to proceed. Make sure your user name and password are the ones provided when you originally opened your account.

Once you have logged in you should see your databases. The one you need to adjust can be chosen from the list of databases that will come up on your computer. After choosing the database that you want to modify, the program will allow you to run inquiries. Help files are a great resource for fixing anything that you want to adjust and this can also be used for making a back-up of the databases. This is a recommended operation which many people neglect to do.

One of the ways that databases work is by storing information until it is needed on certain applications. A good example of this would be shopping carts. The customer uses the shopping cart the same way you would use one in a virtual store. They choose the items they want to order from your site and fill their shopping cart. Should you need to track down one particular order by going into the database and running an inquiry for that order number, you will find the order.

Adding products to your site also requires using a database. The information is entered into your computer by either a database program or spreadsheet and uploaded to your database. This allows the new items to be automatically displayed on your site.

When you add products to your site using a catalog application, there will be parameters that the database uses for each item. They will be color or size of the item or something else depending upon the product. Once the database receives this information, it sorts it and makes sure the correct information is displayed on your site.

Since the use of database software collects the information and stores it in one location so you may access it more easily, finding one particular item is much easier. Employers use databases to keep information ranging from pay information for the employees to the amount of inventory they have on hand.

When you understand how your database works, which most of the time requires no intervention from you, the advantages you will see are:

Increased productivity

Increased customer service

Improved inventory control

Employee pay information

Vendor accountability

Understanding how to access the database is simple when you follow the instructions for the type of database that you employ. For example, when using MySQL, there are features that are enabled by this DBMS but may not be by others. One is the ability to choose from multiple storage engines — finding the one that is most effective for each table in the application.

How to Access Databases from PHP

One way to access databases from PHP is to use a data-base specific extension. A new version in PHP is the version 5 which is called SQLite. This is a smaller and more compact database connection. Replacing what was once MySQL, although you can still use this database, SQLite is already set up and ready to work as soon as you install PHP.

A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a file server that manages the data for you. The information is arranged in tables. The tables have a certain number of columns, which each are named and categorized. The best example would be for keeping track of music. The music would be the title of the table and each title of the song would be recorded, a year of release, and the artist. Each table would be grouped in the database so the RDBMS has its own user system and controls who can update the database.

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