Database TablesJust like Excel tables, database tables consist of columns and rows. Each column contains a different type of attribute and each row corresponds to a single record. For example, imagine that we were building a database table that contained names and telephone numbers. Wed probably set up columns named FirstName, LastName and TelephoneNumber. Then wed simply start adding rows underneath those columns that contained the data were planning to store.
If we were building a table of contact information for our business that has 50 employees, wed wind up with a table that contains 50 rows.
Databases and SpreadsheetsAt this point, youre probably asking yourself an obvious question if a database is so much like a spreadsheet, why cant I just use a spreadsheet? Databases are actually much more powerful than spreadsheets in the way youre able to manipulate data. Here are just a few of the actions that you can perform on a database that would be difficult if not impossible to perform on a spreadsheet:
- Retrieve all records that match certain criteria
- Update records in bulk
- Cross-reference records in different tables
- Perform complex aggregate calculations