08 June 2006

Databases for Laypeople: Part 5 in a series

The Backend
(Table of Contents--Part 4)

The data being managed is referred to generically as the backend. In a CMS, the backend is known as the content management appplication (CMA). The two concepts are closely related. The backend is responsible for allowing orderly import and export of data; it must permit restructuring of the data into new structures as the database grows in complexity; and it must provide for security of access. Likewise, the CMA must be able to pull up content in response to queries; and it must be able to address a large and diversely-formatted pool of data. Usually, sites that are maintained for a long time and updated regularly, such as online news sites, typically have archives that grow very fast.

The more formal, proper term is "server," which is derived from when databases resided on a remote computer. The distinction is that, today, in a web-delivered DBMS, the server is likely to share space on the host with the client (or front end).

(Part 6)

SOURCES & ADDITIONAL READING: "Your First Database," Webmonkey; C.J. Date, An Introduction to Database Systems, 7th Edition, 2000



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