Spreadsheet vs Database. What’s the difference and who cares?. Spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program Originally designed to manage flat lists and handle equations Excel lets you link data between “sheets” making it a very powerful tool.
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What’s the difference and who cares?
1 Card listed by the title of the book, one under the author’s name and one for the subject – assuming there is only one subject. Many books have multiple subjects.
In a database, you only need one record for each book and you can sort the database by title, author or subject.
But a spreadsheet can do this much! What about our situation with multiple subjects?
In a spread sheet, you might create different columns for multiple subjects, but this leads to problems when it comes to filtering and sorting.
Now there is a relationship between two tables based on the ID of the book. One record per book, one record per subject.
This is called a one to many relationship because one book can have many subjects. Finding them all is a cinch.
Of course one book can have many authors. Now it is a many to many relationship between authors and subjects. The book table joins them together.
In database terminology, this is a join.
…a way of structuring information for efficient retrieval.
…limited only by the technology used, not by the structure of the information.
The important thing is to identify the many to many relationships and the joins. Lets try to identify a few that we interact with all the time.