This is the simplest model for storing data.
A flat file consists of a single, two-dimensional table of data elements. Every row in the table is a record, and every column is a field. Computer databases display records as rows in a table or as forms.
Simple databases such as e-mail, address book, and even your iTunes song playlist is the perfect foundation for the flat file.
When using a flat file, you can search, update, group, and organize your records. Every entry in a flat file is independent and cannot be established between other data records.
This is used to describe a variety of technologies that combine object-oriented and relational concepts. An object-relational database has the flexibility to store unique types of data and program code necessary to access that data.
Relational databases and object-relational databases are quite similar. Most of today's relational database tools offer object-oriented features. Hybrids do not typically support a full set of object-oriented characteristics.
This type of database stores data as objects that can be grouped into classes and defined by attributes and methods. The attributes for an object are the same as fields in a relational database. A method is considered any behavior that an object is capable of performing.
Object databases excel in representing objects that have slightly different attributes, which is the case in real-world business applications.
This is a newer model than the relational model and has not yet gained a substantial foothold in mainstream database applications. Object databases best reflect real-world entities and relationships.
A relational database stores data in a collection related tables.
Each table is a sequence of records that is similar to a flat file, and it contains several tables of data. All of the records in a table are the same record type. Each row of a table is equivalent to a record, and each column of the table is equivalent to a field.
Relationships are specified by joining common data stored in the fields of records in different tables. Relationships can be added, changed, or deleted making this type of database model very flexible. Since of the easy flexibility, relational databases can handle the everyday query and reporting needs of businesses, government agencies, consumer level database products, and other organizations.
A dimensional database organizes relationships over three or more dimensions.
Each field is contained within a cell that can be accessed directly from a query or from following a relationship. This type of database is an extension of the relational database model in which tables are stacked in addition to being linked side by side.
This type if database offers a simpler way to visualize data and formulate queries. They are easy to maintain and efficient to use since all data is stored in the same way it is viewed. However, dimensional databases are often deployed for data analysis and decision support system which the data from operational databases is moved into a dimensional data warehouse before being queried.