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The concept of a database is familiar; think Amazon, EBay, LLBean. While there are many different types of databases or rather database systems in use, they all have one thing in common, they store structured data. In this module we will discuss relational databases, the most common type of database and what you are most likely to find available at a XSEDE site or your own IT department. This class includes Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server as well as developmental databases that you can install and run on your own desktop/laptop such as SQLite and SmallSQL.

A data warehouse is a broader concept that usually includes multiple databases, metadata, and the means to query and update this data. A federated database is a single interface to a number of autonomous databases that manages queries across all of the member databases to make them appear as a single database.