We live in an information age. We're bombarded with information by television, radio, newspapers, and computers. A database program is a data manager that can help alleviate information overload. Databases make it possible for people to store, organize, retreive, communicate, and manage information in ways that wouldn't be possible without computers. To control the flood of information, people use databases of all sizes and shapes-from massive mainframe database managers, to computerized appointment calendars on palmtop computers, to public database kiosks in shopping malls.
Databases can be as simple as a list of names and addresses, or as complex as an airline reservation system. A recipe file, a library's card catalog, or a list of Web sites. A good database does the following: (1) makes it easier to store large quantities of information; (2) makes it easier to retrieve information quickly and flexibly; (3) makes it easy to organize and recognize information; and (4) makes it easy to print and distribute information in a variety of ways (Beekman, 2009, pp.235-36).
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