A collection of information organized in a way that a software program can rapidly find wanted pieces of data—an electronic filing system. Databases are organized by fields (defined as one information piece), records (defined as a complete set of fields), and files or tables (defined as a collection of records).
A database is analogous to a telephone book. It is a large electronic file containing a list of records each having three fields: name of telephone owner, address of telephone owner, and telephone number of telephone owner.
An alternative concept in database design is called hypertext—a database in which any object (such as a picture or a file) can be linked to any other object, thus serving as a useful means of organizing vast amounts of unrelated information.
In recent years, information systems experts have discussed database management systems (DBMS), a collection of programs allowing users to not only enter information located in a database but to select particular information of interest. Thus, increasingly, the term database has come to stand for DBMS.
Jupitermedia Corporation database. [Online, June 27, 2003.] Jupitermedia Corporation Website. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/database.html.