D4DME – Databases

As in this unit we are required to connect to and create a database, Rob and Garrett thought it would be helpful for us to have a couple of seminars looking into databases and the many roles they take on. I haven’t previously had much experience with databases so had to do some wider reading in order to understand the information taught to us in the seminars.

We looked at the associative database model which (to my understanding) is a model which works with entities that have an independent existence and the relationships between the entities are described as associations. The associations main purpose is to identify the relationship between the subject and the object. (Team)

It’s thought to be similar to the ERM however it differs slightly as an associative database creates excess storage for custom data for each user. This database is used when different data needs to be stored – as it can easily differ between various pieces, unlike the ERM.

Another database case study we looked at was The Memex which is a hypothetical machine written about in an article from 1945 entiltled ‘As We May Think’. We learnt that the article described a machine which has the potential to record a persons life (via text, voice, photography and video). This recording of ones life can also be played back and navigated through in any order via associative links inputted by its user (hyperlinks). In the seminar some of us were thinking – this is what we now call the computer or laptop or tablet or mobile. We are all familiar with hyperlinks online when you are redirected to a new page, image or piece of information.

A final database case study we looked at was Ted Nelson and Project Xanadu which is his 55 year project by which he attempted to build a computer network with a simple user interface. Its said that Xanadu will probably never be finished and will continue to be an idealised network which contains many important ideas that will remain to be used. Ted Nelson believes that interactive systems should the user maximum flexibility and not be restricted to a set of choices – limiting users possibilities.


Team, Editorial. ‘The Associative Model | Online Learning’.Learn.geekinterview.com. N.p., 2008. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.


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