Databasics V: Getting information out

The whole point of using a database is to turn data into information. Data are facts which have no inherent meaning; information is data put into context to convey meaning. Think of a customer database containing information such as customer names, addresses and phone...

Databases from scratch III: The Design Process

This third article in the series delves into the database heartland by exploring relational database design. One of the best ways to understand the importance of good database design is to start with an all-in-one, flat-file table design and then toss in some sample...

Databases from scratch I: Introduction

When I was eighteen, I had a holiday job in an obscure back office of the New South Wales Stamp Duties Office. It doesn’t take an overactive imagination to realise that a temporary position in this bureaucratic outpost was not the most exhilarating of...