Before we start talking about databases and different data models that exist, first we'd better talk about what a database is and how to use it.

A database is an organized collection of data stored and accessed electronically. It is used to store and retrieve structured, semi-structured, or raw data which is often related to a theme or activity.

At the heart of every database lies at least one model used to describe its data. And depending on the model it is based on, a database may have slightly different characteristics and store different types of data.

To write, retrieve, modify, sort, transform or print the information from the database, a software called Database Management System (DBMS) is used.

The size, capacity, and performance of databases and their respective DBMS have increased by several orders of magnitude. It has been made possible by technological advances in various areas, such as processors, computer memory, computer storage, and computer networks. In general, the development of database technology can be divided into four generations based on the data models or structure: navigational, relational, object and post-relational.

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Rob Tweed · Dec 20, 2021 1m read
Holiday Reading: What Lies Beneath!

For those of you who might be new to IRIS, and even those who have used Cache or IRIS for some time but want to explore beyond its usually-assumed boundaries and practices, you might want to dive into this detailed exploration of the database engine that is at its heart, and discover just what you can really do with it, going way beyond what InterSystems have done with it for you. 

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