relational database

noun
an electronic database comprising multiple files of related information, usually stored in tables of rows (records) and columns (fields), and allowing a link to be established between separate files that have a matching field, as a column of invoice numbers, so that the two files can be queried simultaneously by the user.

Origin:
1970–75

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
relational database   (rĭ-lā'shə-nəl)  Pronunciation Key 
A database system in which any field can be a component of more than one of the database's tables.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

relational database definition

database
(RDBMS - relational database management system) A database based on the relational model developed by E.F. Codd. A relational database allows the definition of data structures, storage and retrieval operations and integrity constraints. In such a database the data and relations between them are organised in tables. A table is a collection of rows or records and each row in a table contains the same fields. Certain fields may be designated as keys, which means that searches for specific values of that field will use indexing to speed them up.
Where fields in two different tables take values from the same set, a join operation can be performed to select related records in the two tables by matching values in those fields. Often, but not always, the fields will have the same name in both tables. For example, an "orders" table might contain (customer_id, product_code) pairs and a "products" table might contain (product_code, price) pairs so to calculate a given customer's bill you would sum the prices of all products ordered by that customer by joining on the product-code fields of the two tables. This can be extended to joining multiple tables on multiple fields. Because these relationships are only specified at retreival time, relational databases are classed as dynamic database management system.
The first commercial RDBMS was the Multics Relational Data Store, first sold in 1978.
INGRES, Oracle, Sybase, Inc., Microsoft Access, and Microsoft SQL Server are well-known database products and companies. Others include PostgreSQL, SQL/DS, and RDB.
["Managing Data Bases, Four Critical Factors" Michael M. Gorman, QED Information Sciences, Inc.].
["An Introduction To Database Systems" (6th ed) C. J. Date, Addison Wesley (an excellent source of detailed info)].
["An End-User's Guide to Data Base" James Martin, Prentice Hall (excellent place to begin learning about DBMS)].
(2002-06-10)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Knowledge of relational database management systems and operating systems concepts required.
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