A database is an organized collection of data. The data is typically organized
to model aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring
information. For example, modelling the availability of rooms in hotels in a
way that supports finding a hotel with vacancies.
A database management system (DBMS) is an application that interacts with the
database, captures and analyzes the data.
Databases are used to support internal operations of organizations and to
underpin online interactions with customers and suppliers.
Areas and examples where DBMS are used:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- E-commerce store with products, catalogs and customers
- Banking: For customer information, accounts, and loans, and banking transactions.
- Airlines: For reservations and schedule information. Airlines were among the
first to use databases in a geographically distributed manner - terminals
situated around the world accessed the central database system through phone
lines and other data networks.
- Universities: For student information, course registrations, and grades.
- Credit card transactions: For purchases on credit cards and generation of
- Telecommunication: For keeping records of calls made, generating monthly bills,
maintaining balances on prepaid calling cards, and storing information about
the communication networks.
- Finance: For storing information about holdings, sales, and purchases of
financial instruments such as stocks and bonds.
- Sales: For customer, product, and purchase information.
- Manufacturing: Management of supply chain, tracking factory production, inventories
of items in warehouses, and orders for items.
- Human resources: Information about employees, salaries, payroll taxes and
benefits, and paychecks generation.
Database access from PHP
PHP has in its core multiple extensions
for accessing different types of databases. Before accessing database from PHP
learn SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is a language designed to manage
data stored in relational databases.
After getting a grip with basics many applications abstract the database layer,
customize SQL for more advanced, efficient and better ways to access databases.
For more information about this check PHP ORMs.
Other resources you should check out: