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The history of databases

The history of databases dates back long before computers were invented

The history of databases dates back long before computers were invented. In the past, data was stored in journals, libraries, and filing cabinets, taking up space and making it difficult to find and back up. The advent of computers in the early 1960s marked the beginning of computerised databases. Charles Bachman designed the first database known as the Integrated Data Store, followed by the Information Management System developed by IBM. These databases were navigational, requiring users to navigate through the entire database to find the information they wanted. The two main models of this navigational database were the hierarchical model developed by IBM and the network model introduced at the Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL).

The 1970s saw the release of a paper by E. F. Codd entitled "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks." This paper marked the beginning of the relational database, which shows the relationship between different data records and is more space-efficient, making it cost-effective for data storage. This led to the creation of INGRES, a relational database model, at the University of California, Berkeley, which used the QUEL query language. IBM released its own relational database, System R, which was the first to use Structured Query Language (SQL).

The 1980s marked a time of growth and standardisation for relational databases, with the navigational database models fading. The commercialisation of relational systems saw a rise in their use and popularity, with SQL becoming the standard language for databases. Another noteworthy event was the emergence of Object-oriented database management systems (OODBMS), which viewed data as objects and worked with programming languages that supported the object-oriented approach.

The 1990s saw the rise of the World Wide Web, fueling demand for client-server database systems, and the exponential growth of the database industry. MySQL was created in 1995, offering an alternative to the database systems of large companies like Oracle and Microsoft. Object-oriented database systems also grew more popular in the 1990s.

The term NoSQL was coined in 1998, referring to databases that use a query language other than SQL to store and retrieve data. NoSQL databases are useful for unstructured data and saw growth in the 2000s, allowing for faster processing of larger, more varied datasets. NoSQL databases are more flexible than the traditional relational databases that had risen the decade before.

The 2010s saw a rise in data awareness, with the emergence of big data and increased emphasis on data protection. This led to the development of automation software as a popular tool when interacting with databases. With the need to collect, organise, and make use of large amounts of data, distributed databases became more popular, storing data across multiple physical locations instead of in one place. The importance of data protection was highlighted by legislation like GDPR and the NIS directive.

In conclusion, the history of databases is a rich and evolving one that has impacted and been impacted by the advancements of technology, and the need to manage and protect large amounts of data efficiently and effectively.

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