Web tablets preserved in the library of Ugarit are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web
Database

Shayan
Dehghani

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American
Public University

Outline

1.     History
of Web Database

2.     What
is a Web Database

3.     Methods
of Indexing

4.     Data
Management Systems(DDMS)

5.     Examples
of Data Management Systems

6.     Why
study about Web Databases

7.     Challenges
associated working with DDMS’s

8.     Conclusion

9.     References

Organization
large and small have realized on the need to use web databases to facilitate
their activities. Web database is used to create website polls, feedback forms,
client and inventory lists. They can be used at a personal level ranging from
storing personal email accounts to a home inventory to personal websites
analytics. The history and development of web database are traced back to the
18th century (Kopal, 2015). For instance, in the Old Syria, historic cave
paintings and clay tablets preserved in the library of Ugarit are considered to
be the first documented mention of a comprehensive effort to store data. There,
was found a larger amount of clay tablets together with diplomatic texts and
literary works separately. Therefore, the means to store data was through
documentation; however, that data was not sorted. The effort to sort data is
confirmed in the Roman Forum Library. This history is not enough to trace the
origin of web databases. The emergence of index card is considered as the
predecessor of computer databases. The index card is associated with naturalist
Carl Linnaeus who introduced a system to sort his records in the 18th century
AD. Each species in his study was put on a separate sheet of paper making it
possible for him to organize his records easily.

Index
cards were handled by human beings, and this was very restrictive and
cumbersome. Due to this, there was the need to improve on index cards, and
electromechanical data processing came to be. In the year 1890, an American
statistician by the name Herman Hollerith created a counting machine that was
in turn used by the public authorities to facilitate census activity. The
counting machine was the first electromechanical data processor. The machine
used punched cards to store information. In 1911, Hollerith’s firm together
with other three companies formed a merger, and The Computing Tabulating
Recording Corporation was established. The company manufactured a wide range of
products, including employee time-keeping systems, weighing scales, automatic
meat slicers and punched card equipment. However, the company later changed its
name to International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924.

IBM
was on the forefront in the improvement of electromechanical processing in the
next half-century. For example, in 1951, IBM Company manufactured the UNIVAC
machine following a request from the authorities which they used to record the
Social Security number of employees in U.S.A. The UNIVAC was the first
mass-produced digital computer for commercial use. The advancement concerning
web databases did not stop with the emergence of UNIVAC, in the year 1960,
Common Business Language abbreviated COBOL was established following the effort
of using one universal computer programming language. Development of
programming language has been associated with the transition from the magnetic
tapes to magnetic disks which allowed direct access to data. This laid the
foundation of the modern web databases existing today. The language used was to
borrow terms from English since it was understood by many.

In
1961, the first data warehouse was introduced by Charles Bachman of General
Electric Company, and his idea of data management was adopted to create the
concept of database systems by the Database Task Committee, a committee formed
to promote innovation and advancement of database systems. The committee
described the architecture of network database systems by introducing concepts
such as data integrity, data model, database schema and atomicity. During this
era, the database systems were divided into two models: network and
hierarchical database models. However, the two models had several drawbacks;
for example, the hierarchical database concept was restricted to when modeling
reality. Edgar F. Codd, an employee of IBM, realized the con, and in 1970, he
came with an idea of the rational database model. The rational database concept
included basic operations for working with data. These processes are data
selection, data projection, union of data and Cartesian product and difference.

The
primary role played by database system was storing structured data and the
introduction of algebra relational calculus and terms that can be understood
led to the creation of Structured English Query Language (SEQUEL). The language
was promoted to version two leading to the creation of structured query
language (SQL) which was approved in 1987 and established as ISO and ANSI
standard. SEQUEL success inspired the development of other languages such as
QUEL. The Ingress project of the University of California and language QUEL led
to the development of an object-relational database model, known as Postgress.
The Postgress and SQL were connected when the QUEL query language interpreter
was replaced by SQL language interpreter in the year 1995, and a year later it
was renamed to PostgreSQL language. In the 1990’s the structured object model
received and communication uses the Object Query Language built over the SQL-92
standard and the Object Definition Language which is based on the applied
programming languages. In the 2000’s attention of software developers shifted
to the need of creating unstructured databases. As a result, unstructured
databases called NoSQL emerged. The boom of unstructured databases is
associated with Google. It presented its database proposal called big BigTable
designed for large amounts of data. Amazon inspired this proposal by offering
its unstructured database called Dynamo. These proposals of databases later
became the basis of today used NoSQL databases.

A
web database can be defined as a system designed to be managed and accessed
through the internet. A web database can also mean an organized listing of web
pages in one medium (ntc.hosting, 2017). Web databases can be compared to a
card catalog found in the library that guides library users to locate books on
the library shelves. The database usually holds the surrogate or selected
pieces such as the headings and titles for every web page. The surrogate is the
unique identifier of an object in the database. The creation of surrogates is
known as indexing, and each web database does it differently. Typically, web
databases can hold surrogates for anywhere from one to thirty million web
pages. Web database programs also have the search interface, which is the box
where users type words into or the list of directories an individual can use to
search for data stored on the computer. Through the search engine, the user
type in any terminology he/she wishes and will search the database to match the
terms keyed in. On the other hand, the directory has pages organized by
subject, and are navigated by selecting things off the directory. A good
example of a directory is the Yellow Page, which has business telephone numbers
arranged by business category rather than alphabetically. Each web database has
a different indexing method and a separate search interface to suit the needs
of users.

There
are three significant methods of indexing used in web database creation; they
are full-text, keyword and human. Full-text indexing involves putting every
word on the web page into the database for searching. Full-text indexing helps
users to find every example of a reference to exact name or terminology.
Examples of full-databases are AltaVista, Google, and Open Text. In human
indexing, the user surveys the page and determines very few key phrases that
describe it. This allows the user to find a good start of works about a certain
topic-assuming that the topic was chosen by the human as something that defines
the page. Human indexing develops Directory-based web databases. A good example
is Yahoo. The last method of indexing is keyword indexing, where only the
critical word and phrases are put into the database for searching. This allows
the users to search for more general subjects and, therefore, the results are
more accurate. However, if a term is only mentioned once or twice on a page, it
will not be included in the web database. Examples of keyword indexing are
Lycos and Excite.

How
do web database select which pages are indexed? This is a question that lingers
in any user of web databases. Since there is no centralized internet computer
fed with data, there is no one place where these services can learn about new
pages. Therefore, many services use automated programs referred to as spiders
or robots that travel from site to site looking for new WWW pages. Mostly, the
robots go to the “What is New” or the “What is Hot” pages and use them for
indexing the popular sites that are accessed by the majority of web database
users. Other robots or spiders methodically examine every link leading to a web
page and every link leading from the web page. With this, three classes of web
database are created-those that look at all WWW pages, those that examine
popular WWW pages, and those that inspect the quality of web pages. How results
are presented is very important, and two concepts are involved in this process
of result presentation, that is, Relevancy ranking and Abstracts. Relevancy
rankings refer to how the documents are listed in order by relevance.
Concerning user search results, the computer ranks all the documents that
contain his/her search term, and list the ones it thinks are the most relevant
first. The search results can be many as possible, and the user should be
focused on the first twenty to forty. Therefore, users should ensure they are
using the correct search terms to enhance the ranking of the first forty
results. On the other hand, there might be pages that are listed yet say nothing
about the user topic. Such is referred to as abstracts and are usually not the
same as the database entry used by the computer to search. The abstract
normally is shorter than the database entry, and this can lead to frustration
since the user has to load the actual page to know why the search program feels
the page is relevant to his/her search.

A
large amount of data used by companies need to be organized and arranged
correctly, to see this possible, organizations use a database management system
(DBMS), a software tool that facilitates the organization of data in a database
(TechTarget, 2017).  Thus, the central
role of database management system is to store and transform data into
information to support in decision-making. A DDMS is made up of three elements:
The physical database which refers to the collection of files that contain the
data, the second feature is the database engine, which is the software that
makes it possible to access and modify the contents of the database. The last
element is the database scheme referring to the specification of the logical
structure of the data stored in the database. The specific functions of DDMS
are: one is to offer security rules to determine access rights of the users.
Second, it has a data dictionary which describes the data. Third, DDMS provides
a back-up and recovery process to back-up the data and regularly and recover
data is a problem occurs. Lastly, DDMS allow concurrent access, in other words,
the same database can be used by multiple users. The use of DDMS has seen
organizations reduce chances of data redundancy and inconsistency and, thus,
improving the quality of data.

There
are various types of DDMS and organizations are guided by multiple factors in
selecting the one that fulfills its activities (Rasbin, 2017). One of these
factors is to ensure the DDMS chosen integrates with other technologies used by
a certain company. Second, the DDMS should be robust, scalable and easy to use,
this promoting efficiency of business activities of a company. Third, the cost
of getting started-concerning the buying and installation of web database soft
wares should be one which a company can afford to sponsor. Lastly, companies
usually select databases that are easy to operate. Examples of DDMS are MySQL
Community Server, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server Express, Oracle
Express Edition, and DB2 Express-C.

MySQL
is preferred by organizations because the community version is acquired for
free and is a great platform to begin learning on. There are also commercial versions
of MySQL for large-scale commercial applications. Initially, MySQL was
available for on small set of platforms, such as Linux. However, currently, you
can put MySQL on anything, including Mac and windows. The MySQL Workbench tool
has a good graphical user interface to design and works with database tables
visually. MySQL Workbench is usually intuitive, helping any user to learn
syntax created by the tool when the task is designed because it has decent help
documentation.

Microsoft
Access is not acquired for free as the case for MySQL. However, it is a part of
Microsoft Office; thus many developers have it. Microsoft access allows users
to design a table or a task visually and then observe the syntax that gets
created. Microsoft Access does not have two separate installations-one for the
DDMS and one for the design tool-because it comes as a single application,
unlike other soft wares which have separate installations. However, Microsoft
Access has various limitations; for instance, it is not flexible on which
operating system it should e installed on. Another limitation is that it is not
clear on how many concurrent connections it can handle before the performance
degrades. Therefore, Microsoft Access is ideal for learning, and low traffic
websites become it becomes slow and unsuitable for websites that have heavier
traffic.

The
other three DDMS that is, Microsoft SQL Server Express, Oracle Express Edition,
and DB2 Express-C are the most dominant and popular DDMS’s used by big
companies today. They each have separate server applications and design tools
that must be installed. The three are similar in tools and functionality. The
notable difference lies in the syntax of their SQL; thus, they are not listed
in any particular order.

The
purpose of studying web database can vary regarding the type of data being fed
into the web database software. For instance, the purpose of studying web
database can be to analyze and model requirements and limitations needed to
design and implement a web data system. Second, is to understand how to create
and implement a web database that accommodates all the specified requirements
and shortcomings based on modeling or requirements specification. Third, is to
be able to explain the complex web database application concepts and relevant,
thorough reports of professional standards and technical presentations. Lastly,
is to be able to work in different forms regarding web database, that is, to
form, manage, and produce successful outcomes. 
The significance of studying web database includes, one can be able to
create a web database that has enough storage to accommodate all the data, and
as a result, the speed of web database software is increased. Second, those who
know how to use web database should encourage the organization to embrace the
use of different languages when designing the web database. Finally, web
database programs should be monitored on a regular basis to ensure they are up
to do.

Users
of web databases face various challenges that are important to address so that
they can make the correct decision concerning what type of database system they
will select to facilitate their activities (MiCORE Solutions, 2017). The first
problem is limits on scalability; all software has scalability and resource
usage restrictions, including database servers. Companies concerned about
transaction processing capacity know that cataloging components, database
architecture, operating systems, and hardware configuration all affect
scalability. Although decentralized data management offer various benefits such
restricting unwarranted users due to the security it offers, it presents
challenges regarding how the data will be distributed? What decentralization
method should be used? And what is the proper degree of decentralization? Lack
of centralized knowledge about the entire database system used is a major
challenge in designing and managing a distributed database.

Most
companies have realized the importance of installing high-profile data security
software to safeguard their database. Databases are hidden workhorse of many
companies’ IT systems because they store critical public and private data. The
security software is expensive with, and a typical one can cost an organization
about 4 million, not to mention the loss of reputation and goodwill. This high
cost has seen many companies opt for cheap security software putting a risk to
their data.

In
conclusion, the history of web database can be traced back to the 18th century
AD when the old Syria used clay tablets to document information regarding
diplomatic activities. The golden age of web database came to place when
database software manufactures realized on the need to use one common language
that is understandable. A web database is an organized listing of web pages.
Companies, big and small, are using the database to organize their data to ease
access.

 

References

Kopal,
O. (2015). History and trends in the development of databases. Retrieved from

      http://www.web-integration.info/en/blog/history-and-trends-in-the-development-of-databases/

MiCORE
Solutions, (2017). Database management challenges. Retrieved from

      http://www.micoresolutions.com/top-database-management-challenges/

ntc.hosting,
(2017). What is a database? Retrieved from

      https://www.ntchosting.com/encyclopedia/databases/database/

Rasbin,
(2017). Some examples of database management system (DBMS) with explanation.

      Retrieved from https://rasbin.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/some-examples-of-database-management-system-dbms-with-explanation/

TechTarget,
(2017). Database management system (DBMS). Retrieved from

      http://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/definition/database-management-system