This database tutorial will help beginners understand the basics of database management systems. We use helpful analogies to explain a high-level overview of spreadsheets, tables, and database management systems. The logic and concepts in this tutorial will make it easier to understand the more technical aspects of database architecture and Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD).
When it comes to organizing data, we often start by compiling everything into a single spreadsheet (or table). But that approach isn't scalable. As more data floods the system, a single table will result in misleading information, duplicate data, and errors.
A better method is to split your data up into smaller tables that have a narrower focus. These tables organize your data in a more efficient way and come together via relationships to form a database. And a database management system is the software that handles the storage, retrieval, and updating of that database.
Database Management Systems are closely related to Entity Relationship Diagrams. If you've spent any time in a database management system, you know that they typically don’t give you the best options for visualizing your database. It’s all in the programming language and it’s hard to see where the connections are. That’s where Entity Relationship Diagrams come in. It’s a visual way of looking at your database structure. Each table translates into an entity. And your columns in each table are listed as attributes in their respective entity. Finally, the programmed connections between your tables are visualized through relationship lines.
Lucidchart is a visual productivity platform that can help you visualize your Database Management System. Our ERD import and export tool make it easy to translate your database into a diagram that helps you spot database errors, find potential improvements, and onboard others to your database.
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