Shared Flashcard Set


Database Systems: Design, Implementationa and Management; 01
Computer Science

Additional Computer Science Flashcards





ch1, q1:


Define each of the following terms:





raw facts



i.e., telephone number, a birth date, a customer name, and a year-to-date (YTD) sales value. Data have little meaning unless they have been organized in some logical manner


ch1, q1:


Define each of the following terms:






a character or group of characters


can be alphabetic or numeric that has a specific meaning.


Used to define and store data. 


ch1, q1:


Define each of the following terms:






A logically connected set of one or more files that describes a person, place or thing.


Ex: the fileds that constitute a record for a customer might consist of the customer's name, address, phone number, date of birth, credit limit, and unpaid balance.


ch1, q1:


Define each of the following terms:






A collection of related records.


Ex: A file might contain data about the students currently enrolled at Gigantic University.


ch1, q2:


What is data redundancy?


Which characteristics of the file system can lead to it?





when the same data are stored unnecessarily at different places


ch1, q3:


What is data independence?


Why is it lacking in file systems?


data independence:


exists when it is possible to make changes in the data storage characteristics without affecting the application program's ability to access the data


why it is lacking in file systems:


In file systems, any change to a file structure, no matter how minor, forces modifications in all of the programs that use the data in that file.


ch1, q4:


What is DBMS?


What are its functions?


DBMS = DataBase Management System


a collection of programs that manages the database structure and controls access to the data stored in the database. (think electronic filing cabinet)


functions of a DBMS:

  • data dictionary management
  • data storage management
  • data transformation and presentation
  • security management
  • multiuser access control
  • backup and recovery management
  • data integrity management
  • database access languages and application programming interfaces.
  • database communication interfaces.

ch1, q5:


What is structural independence?


Why is it important?


structural indendepence exists when:


it is possible to make changes in the file structure without affecting the application program's ability to access the data.





so that changes to the file structure will not require modifying file system programs to conform to the new changes.


ch1, q6:


Explain the difference between:


data and information



data is raw information.


information is the result of processing raw data to reveal its meaning.


ch1, q7:


What is the role of the DBMS?


What are its advantages?


What are its disadvantages?




serves as the intermediary between the user and the database.



  • improved data sharing
  • improved data security
  • better data integration
  • minimized data inconsistency
  • improved data access
  • improved decision making
  • increased end-user productivity



  • increased costs
  • management complexity
  • maintaining currency
  • vendor dependence
  • frequent upgrade/replacement cycles

ch1, q8:


List and describe the different types of databases.


the different types of databases:

  • single user database: supports only one user at a time.
  • desktop database: a single user database that runs on a personal computer
  • multiuser database: supports multiple users at one time.
  • workgroup database: a multiuser database that supports a small number of users (50 or less)
  • enterprise database: a multiuser database that supports a large number of users (50+)
  • centralized database: supports data located at a single site.
  • distributed database: supports data distributed across several different sites
  • operational/transactional/production database: for day-to-day operations
  • data warehouse: stores data used to generate info required to make tactical or strategic decisions



ch1, q9:


What are the main components of a

database system?


the components of a database system include:

  • hardware
  • software
  • people
  • procedures
  • data

ch1, q10:


What are metadata?


metadata is:


data about data, through which the end user data are integrated and managed.


ch1, q11:


Explain why database design is important.


database design is important because:


a poorly designed database may produce difficult to trace errors that result in bad decision making -- and bad decision making can lead to the failure of an organization.


ch1, q12:


What are the potential costs of implementing a database system?


the potential costs of implementing a database system could include:


  • sophisticated hardware and software, trained personnel
  • training, licensingm and regulation compliance costs
  • vendor dependence - vendors are less likely to offer pricing point advantages to existing customers
  • updating of hardware and software; additional training

ch1, q13:


Use examples to compare and constrast unstructered data and structered data.


Which type is more prevalent in a typical business environment?


unstructured data is simply data that has not been processed to yield information.


examples of both types would include:

An invoice. If one were to take an invoice and simply scan it into a graphic, it would be unstructured data. In contrast, if it were processed and put into a database (subsequently becomming structured data), employees could eventually find the monthly averages, amount owed, etc. from various invoices.


While both are prevelant, I would think semistructed data would be the most common in a typical business. Some data is stored but not processed (unstructured data such as memos), and some others are stored in databases (such as invoices) but most data are only processed to a certain extent that is displayed in a prearranged format but not able to yield all of the information contained within.


ch1, q14:


What are some basic database functions that a spreadsheet cannot perform?



spreadsheets do not support basic functionality such as:


  • support for self-documentation through metadata
  • enforcement of data types or domains to ensure consistency of data within a column, defined relationships among tables, or contraints to ensure consistency of data across related tables.

ch1, q15:


What common problems does a collection of spreadsheets created by end users share with the typical file system?



Common problems with using both a collection of spreadsheets created by end users and the typical file system include:


  • lengthy development times
  • difficulty of getting quick answers
  • complex system administration
  • lack of security and limited data sharing
  • extensive programming

ch1, q16:


Explain the significance of the loss of direct, hands-on access to business data that end useres experienced with the advent of computerized data repositories.



The loss of direct, hands on access to business data to end-users was significant because it gave them the tools to convert their data into the information they needed and manipulating the company data that would allow them to create new information.


However, it seperated end-users from data. While this increased security, prevented redundancy and the such, it also created a delay in which the end-user could request information from the data and when it was delivered by the DP.

Supporting users have an ad free experience!