(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 organized in tables. A table is a collection of records and each record in a table contains the same fields.
Properties of Relational Tables:
Values Are Atomic.
Each Row is Unique.
Column Values Are of the Same Kind.
The Sequence of Columns is Insignificant.
The Sequence of Rows is Insignificant.
Each Column Has a Unique Name.
Certain fields may be designated as keys, which mean 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 retrieval time, relational databases are classed as dynamic database management system. The RELATIONAL database model is based on the Relational Algebra.