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SQL Anywhere 10.0.1 » SQL Anywhere 10 - Introduction » Overview of Data Management Technologies » Relational database concepts

Relational database concepts Next Page

Database tables

In a relational database, all data is held in tables, which are made up of rows and columns.

A database containing several tables.

Each table has one or more columns, and each column is assigned a specific data type, such as an integer, a sequence of characters (for text), or a date. Each row in the table has a single value for each column.

For example, a table containing employee information can look like the following:













Characteristics of relational tables

The tables in a relational database have some important characteristics:

The following table lists some of the formal and informal relational database terms describing tables and their contents, together with their equivalent in non-relational databases such as dBase and FoxPro. This document uses the informal terms.

Informal relational term Formal relational term Non-relational term
Table Relation File
Column Attribute Field
Row Tuple Record
What do you keep in each table?

Each table in the database should hold information about a specific kind of thing, such as employees, products, or customers.

By designing a database this way, you can set up a structure that eliminates redundancy and the possible inconsistencies caused by redundancy. For example, both the sales and accounts payable departments might enter and look up information about customers. In a relational database, the information about customers is stored only once, in a table that both departments can access.

See Designing Your Database.