When you first get into modern computing, one of the terms that comes up most frequently is relational databases. These are clusters that are organized in such a way that they effortlessly find links between connected data points.
Relational databases are convenient, but what happens when you deal with vast amounts of information? You need something to act as your North Star, guiding you through the network and allowing you to stay on top of the data.
That something is an RDBMS. According to Google, RDBMS stands for a relational database management system – software that sets up and manages relational databases. In its full form, it’s been the light at the end of the tunnel for thousands of companies due to its accuracy, security, and ease of use.
The definition and importance of RDBMSs are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these systems. This introduction to RDBMS will delve a bit deeper by taking a closer look at the concept of RDBMS, the history of this technology, use cases, and the most common examples.
History of RDBMS
The concept of RDBMS might be shrouded in mystery for some. Thus, several questions may come up when discussing the notion, including one as basic as “What is RDBMS?”
Knowing the RDBMS definition is a great starting point on your journey to understanding this concept. But let’s take a few steps back and delve into the history of this system.
Origins of the Relational Model
What if we told you that the RDBMS concepts are older than the internet? It may sound surprising, but it’s true.
The concept of RDBMS was developed by Edgar F. Codd 43 years ago. He aimed to propose a more efficient way to store information, a method that would consume drastically less memory than anything at the time. His model was groundbreaking, to say the least.
E.F. Codd’s Paper on Relational Model
Codd laid down his proposal in a 1970s paper called “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks.” He advocated a database solution comprised of intertwined tables. These tables enabled the user to keep their information compact, lowering the amount of disk space necessary for storage (which was scarce at the time).
The rest is history. The public welcomed Codd’s model with open arms since it optimized storage requirements and allowed people to answer practically any question using his principle.
Development of SQL
Codd’s research paved the way for relational database management systems, the most famous of which is SQL. This programming language was also developed in the ‘70s and was originally named SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language). It was quickly implemented across the computing industry and grew more powerful as the years went by.
Evolution of RDBMS Software
The evolution of RDBMS software has been fascinating.
Early RDBMS Software
The original RDBMS software was powerful, but it wasn’t a cure-all. It was a match made in heaven for users dealing with structured data, allowing them to organize it with minimal effort. However, pictures, music, and other forms of unstructured information were largely incompatible with this model.
Modern RDBMS Software
Today’s RDBMS solutions have come a long way from their humble beginnings. A modern relational DBMS can process different forms of information with ease. Programs like MySQL are versatile, adaptable, and easy to set up, helping database professionals spearhead the development of practically any application.
Key Concepts in RDBMS
Here’s another request you may have for an expert in RDBMS – explain the most significant relational database concepts. If that’s your question, your request has been granted. Coming up is an overview of RDBMS concepts that explain RDBMS in simple terms.
Tables and Relations
Tables and relations are the bread and butter of all relational database management systems. They sound straightforward, but they’re much different from, say, elements you come across in Microsoft Excel.
Definition of Tables
Tables are where data is stored in an RDBMS. They’re comprised of rows and columns for easier organization.
Definition of Relations
Relations are the links between tables. There can be several types of relations, such as one-to-one connections. This form means a data point from one table only matches one data point from another table.
Primary and Foreign Keys
No discussion about RDBMS solutions is complete without primary and foreign keys.
Definition of Primary Keys
A primary key is the unique element of each table that defines the table’s rows. The number of primary keys in a table is limited to one.
Definition of Foreign Keys
Foreign keys are used to form an inextricable bond between tables. They always refer to the primary key of another table.
Much of database management is akin to separating wheat from the chaff. One of the processes that allow you to do so is normalization.
Purpose of Normalization
Normalization is about restoring (or creating) order in a database. It’s the procedure of eradicating unnecessary data for the purpose of cleaner tables and smoother management.
Every action has its reaction. For example, the reaction of normalization is normal forms. These are forms of data that are free from redundant or duplicate information, making them easily accessible.
Popular RDBMS Software
This article has dissected basic relational database concepts, the RDBMS meaning, and RDBMS full form. To further shed light on the technology, take a look at the crème de la crème of RDBMS platforms.
If you want to make headway in the database management industry, Oracle Database can be one of your best friends.
Overview of Oracle Database
Oracle Database is the most famous RDBMS around. The very database of this network is called Oracle, and the software comes in five different versions. Each rendition has a specific set of features and benefits, but some perks hold true for each one.
Key Features and Benefits
- Highly secure – Oracle employs top-grade security measures.
- Scalable – The system supports company growth with adaptable features.
- Available – You can tap into the architecture whenever necessary for seamless adjustments.
Microsoft SQL Server
Let’s see what another powerhouse – Microsoft SQL Server – brings to the table.
Overview of Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is a reliable RDBMS with admirable capabilities. Like Oracle, it’s available in a range of editions to target different groups, including personal and enterprise users.
Key Features and Benefits
- Fast – Few systems rival the speed of Microsoft SQL Server.
- Versatile – The network supports on-premise and cloud applications.
- Affordable – You won’t burn a hole in your pocket if you buy the standard version.
You can take your business to new heights with MySQL. The following section will explore what makes this RDBMS a go-to pick for Uber, Slack, and many other companies.
Overview of MySQL
MySQL is another robust RDBMS that enables fast data retrieval. It’s an open-source solution, making it less complex than some other platforms.
Key Features and Benefits
- Quick – Efficient memory use speeds up the MySQL environment.
- Secure – Bulletproof password systems safeguard against hacks.
- Scalable – You can use MySQL both for small and large data sets.
Last but not least, PostgreSQL is a worthy contender for the best RDBMS on the market.
Overview of PostgreSQL
If you need a long-running RDBMS, you can’t go wrong with PostgreSQL. It’s an open-source solution that’s received more than two decades’ worth of refinement.
Key Features and Benefits
- Nested transactions – These elements deliver higher concurrency control.
- Anti-hack environment – Advanced locking features keep cybercriminals at bay.
- Table inheritance – This feature makes the network more consistent.
RDBMS Use Cases
Now we get to what might be the crux of the RDBMS discussion: Where can you implement these convenient solutions?
Data Storage and Retrieval
- Storing large amounts of structured data – Use an RDBMS to keep practically unlimited structured data.
- Efficient data retrieval – Retrieve data in a split second with an RDBMS.
Data Analysis and Reporting
- Analyzing data for trends and patterns – Discover customer behavior trends with a robust RDBMS.
- Generating reports for decision-making – Facilitate smart decision-making with RDBMS-generated reports.
- Backend for web and mobile applications – Develop a steady web and mobile backend architecture with your RDBMS.
- Integration with other software and services – Combine an RDBMS with other programs to elevate its functionality.
RDBMS vs. NoSQL Database
Many alternatives to RDBMS have sprung up, including NoSQL databases. But what makes these two systems different?
Overview of NoSQL Databases
A NoSQL database is the stark opposite of RDBMS solutions. It takes a non-relational approach, which is deemed more efficient by many.
Key Differences Between RDBMS and NoSQL Databases
- Data model – RDBMSs store structured data, whereas NoSQL databases store unstructured information.
- Scalability – NoSQL is more scalable because it doesn’t require a fixed schema (relation-based model).
- Consistency – RDBMSs achieve consistency through rules, while NoSQL models feature eventual consistency.
Choosing the Right Database for Your Needs
Keep these guidelines in mind when selecting your database platform:
- Use an RDBMS for centralized apps and NoSQL for decentralized solutions.
- Use an RDBMS for structured data and NoSQL for unstructured data.
- Use an RDBMS for moderate data activity and NoSQL for high data activity.
Exploring the Vast Utility of RDBMS
If you’re looking for a descriptive answer to the “what is relational database management system question,” here it is – it is the cornerstone of database management for countless enterprises. It’s ideal for structured data projects and gives the user the reins of data management. Plus, it’s as secure as it gets.
The future looks even more promising. Database professionals are expected to rely more on blockchain technology and cloud storage to elevate the efficacy of RDBMS.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.