What is a database?

Data is one of the most critical assets of any business. It is used and collected practically everywhere, from businesses trying to determine consumer patterns based on credit card usage, to space agencies trying to collect data from other planets. Data, as important as it is, needs robust, secure, and highly available software that can store and process it quickly. The answer to these requirements is a solid and a reliable database.
Database software usage is pervasive, yet it is taken for granted by the billions of daily users worldwide. Its presence is everywhere-from retrieving money through an automatic teller machine to badging access at a secure office location.
Since its advent, databases have been among the most researched knowledge domains in computer science. A database is a repository of data, designed to support efficient data storage, retrieval and maintenance. Multiple types of databases exist to suit various industry requirements. A database may be specialized to store binary files, documents, images, videos, relational data, multidimensional data, transactional data, analytic data, or geographic data to name a few.
Data can be stored in various forms, namely tabular, hierarchical and graphical forms. If data is stored in a tabular form then it is called a relational database. When data is organized in a tree structure form, it is called a hierarchical database. Data stored as graphs representing relationships between objects is referred to as a network database.

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