What Is Database Administration?

In today’s world, businesses and organizations now rely mostly on computers and the Internet to store data and even do transactions with their clients and partners. Websites and different applications have now been developed in order to facilitate the conduct of day-to-day activities. At the heart of these seemingly complicated technological breakthroughs is the simple structural element known as the database.

In its simplest sense, a database can be thought of as a table with columns that contain a particular attribute or characteristic and rows that have a value that each matches the attribute. The number of informational categories that need to be included as well as the quantity of objects for each category will determine how many columns and rows are needed in each table. With this kind of organization, it becomes easy for computer programs to work on a specific data needed for a particular operation. Databases and the computer software programs that are used to communicate with them comprise a database management system. Today, databases are used to store and manage different kinds of data in websites. These include but are not limited to log-in information, items purchased in a commercial website, consumer’s credit card details, blogs, pictures and videos.

Database administration refers to the whole spectrum of tasks performed by a database administrator to keep a database running. The nature of the Internet is such that websites need to be live and operational 24 hours a day. While some of the tasks are automated, a database administrator is still needed to proactively track the database and provide the necessary expertise to troubleshoot problems as they arise. Database administration also comprises such duties as archiving information, installing and upgrading software and maintaining backup and recovery guidelines in cases of data loss. It also involves keeping the database secure from any unauthorized access and generating reports from the queries made on the database.

Database administration is now an integral part of any organization that stores most, if not all, of its data on computers. As such, database administrators need to possess the technical training for the database they are handling. They need to be familiar with the native tools for their database management software that would enable them to run and operate the functions of the databases with ease. If they are using the Microsoft SQL Server, for instance, they need to be familiar with the SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Database administrators can also prove their technical knowledge by getting certification from the firm that offers a particular commercial database product.

They can get the Oracle Certified Professional certification if they want to show their proficiency in managing the Oracle database or a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator certification to prove their expertise in handling Microsoft’s SQL Server. In addition to technical know-how, database administration also requires administrators to think logically to determine the root cause of a problem and find ways to solve it. Since they may also work together with colleagues who have no computer knowledge, they should also be able to explain technical issues in ways that they can understand.

Career Spotlight: Database Administrator

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