You may need a Database Specialist more than you care to admit! Let us take a brief look at the activities a database specialist does for a firm: This involves but is not limited to troubleshooting, generation of reports, maintaining internal software, supporting the internal staff, and worshipping Edgar F. Codd, whoever he is! Relational Database Models (RDBMs) are the universal standard choice for storing logistical data, personnel info and financial records today. Over time they have replaced legacy databases such as network and hierarchical databases. Today, you can bet that any database specialist is adept in handling RDBMs. Ever heard of the names Stonebraker, Bachman, Codd? No these are not species of fish, but the names of the modern day ‘fathers’ of RDBMs. A World without a Database Specialist: A ‘confused’ world indeed! The word ‘confused’ is fitting, in that it predicts accurately, the exact state the files would be in! There are many hindrances in the management of files: admit it, File Management can only take you so far! Modern scientists realized this and thus the term ‘relational’ in relation to storage came into perspective. Many people came forward with varying theories, leading to a mind mix, out of which E.F. Codd’s were accepted.
This English Computer Scientist, who later on became one of the world’s most recognized database specialists, formulated 12 rules to follow: 1. Rule 0 ‘Foundation’: Any database specialist must be able to handle the database (if it is RDBMs) entirely on its relational capabilities. 2. Rule 1 ‘Information’: All information contained within the database should be represented as values in cells and logically. 3. Rule 2 ‘Guaranteed Access’: There is guaranteed access to each atomic cell value if the database specialist uses a combination of primary key, table name, row and column name. 4. Rule 3 ‘NULL Value Treatment’: Irrelevant and inapplicable information can be represented using NULL/NOT NULL. This is not used for the number 0 or any string containing blank characters.
5. Rule 4 ‘Dynamic Online Catalogs’: Descriptions are, like ordinary data, logical, thus making possible to query them in a similar manner. A database specialist is well informed about this. 6. Rule 5 ‘Comprehensive Data Sublanguage’: It means standard syntax for authorization, transaction boundaries, integrity constraints, view, data definition and data manipulation. 7. Rule 6 ‘View Updation’: Views help in data abstraction. A database specialist has to ensure that theoretical updated must be backed up by system updates. 8. Rule 7 ‘High Level insert, delete and update’: A single operation is sufficient to do all of the above. 9.
Rule 8 ‘Physical Data Independence’: Whenever changes are made in either terminals or application programs, they are not hindered physically.
10. Rule 9 ‘Logical Data Independence’: A database specialist has to promise that batch and end terminals can change the database schema without having the need to rebuild it or any applications built on it. 11. Rule 10 ‘Integrity Independence’: The integrity constraints should be stored in the metadata and not in the applications. This is an important role of database specialist. 12. Rule 11 ‘Distribution Independence’: Whether the data is centralized or distributed, physically, the user should not be aware. 13. Rule 12 ‘Non Subversion’: Any system having a low-level language cannot subvert or bypass the higher level relational language integrity constraints. Preserving integrity and preventing redundancy is one of the most crucial jobs of a database specialist. Following all of the above rules is no walk in the park! At the same time, in order to maintain a sound database it is necessary to follow them. Therefore, every firm needs a database specialist, whether they like it or not!