A database is a large collection of data that's stored and retrieved differently from the file format in which information is stored in a series of files. A database, unlike file systems, must be accessible by a variety of users and is normally used across a network. Databases are used by businesses to store, enter, and manipulate data, such as sales transactions, product catalogs and inventories, and customer profiles. Database managers, also called database management systems, control which users have access to which types of information in the database, note whether a particular user can enter data or is only allowed to view it, and analyze how the database is used. While databases of this sort are usually stored on large, mainframe computers, there are databases that can be run off personal computers. SQL, short for Structured Query Language, is a standard language for a database such as IBM's DB2 or Microsoft's Access. There are two types of databases managers: the relational database management system, or RDBMS, and the object-oriented database management system, also called OODBMS . The RDBMS manager usually manages databases that use text or numerical information, while the OODBMS manager generally handles databases with graphs, charts, or other graphically formatted data. For more information, consult a computer professional.
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