Database Design: Tabular Database, Hierarchical Database, Network Database, Relational Database (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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There are four kinds of database designs:

  • Tabular Database
  • Hierarchical Database
  • Network Database
  • Relational Database

1. Tabular Database

The simple tabular model stores attribute data as sequential data files with fixed formats, for the location of attribute values in a predefined record structure.

The tabular model is the manner in which most early GIS software packages stored their attribute data. The tabular model allows you to associate records in one table with records in another table through a common field, known as a key.

This Table Shows Tabular Data Model Example

2. Hierarchical Database

There is a relationship among data called one-to-many or parent-child relationship. A hierarchical database model is a data model in which the data is organized into a tree-like structure.

The structure allows representing information using parent/child relationship: each parent can have many children, but each child has only one parent. All attributes of a specific record are listed under an entity type.

In a database an entity type is the equivalent of a table. Each individual record is represented as a row, and each attribute as a column. Entity type is related to each other using mappings.

This Diagram Shows Hierarchical Model

3. Network Database

The network model is a database model conceived as a flexible way of representing objects and their relationships. Its distinguishing feature is that the schema, viewed as a graph in which object types are nodes and relationship types are arcs, is not restricted to being a hierarchy or lattice.

The network model organizes data using two fundamental constructs, called records and sets. Records contain fields. Sets define one-to-many relationships between records. A record may be an owner in any number of sets, and a member in any number of sets.

Network systems are less rigid and can handle many-to-many relationship. Unlike the hierarchical structure, they reduce redundancy of data.

This Diagram Shows Network Model

4. Relational Database

The relational model for database management is a database model based on first-order predicate logic, first formulated and proposed in 1969 by Edgar F. Codd.

The purpose of the relational model is to provide a declarative method for specifying data and queries: users directly state what information the database contains and what information they want from it, and let the database management system software take care of describing data structures for storing the data and retrieval procedures for answering queries.

  • Simplicity in organization and data modeling.
  • Flexibility data can be manipulated in an ad hoc manner by joining tables.
  • Efficiency of storage-proper design of data tables can reduce redundancy.

The following diagram explains the basic linkage between a vector spatial data and attributer maintained in a relational database file.

This Figure Shows Relational Model

Relational database was proposed by Edgar Codd around 1969. A relational database organizes data in tables. A table is made up of rows and columns. A row is also called a record. A column is also called a field.

A separate data model is used to store and maintain attribute data for GIS software. These data model reflected in external commercial Database Management Software (DMBS) .

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