Glossary Database Terms
Here is a list of A – Glossary Database Terms.
The full list of all terms can be found in glossary
access plan—A set of instructions, generated at application
compilation time, that is created and managed by a
DBMS. The access plan predetermines the way an
application’s query will access the database at run time.
active data dictionary—A data dictionary that is
automatically updated by the database management
system every time the database is accessed, thereby
keeping its information current. See also data dictionary.
ActiveX—Microsoft’s alternative to Java. A specification for
writing programs that will run inside the Microsoft client
browser (Internet Explorer). Oriented mainly to Windows
applications, it is not portable. It adds “controls” such as
drop-down windows and calendars to Web pages.
ActiveX Data Objects (ADO)—A Microsoft object
framework that provides a high-level applicationoriented
interface to interact with OLE-DB, DAO, and
RDO. ADO provides a unified interface to access data
from any programming language that uses the
underlying OLE-DB objects.
ad hoc query—A “spur-of-the-moment” question.
ADO.NET—The data access component of Microsoft’s
.NET application development framework. The Microsoft
.NET framework is a component-based platform for
developing distributed, heterogeneous, and interoperable
applications aimed at manipulating any type of data over
any network under any operating system and
alias—An alternative name given to a column or table in
any SQL statement.
ALTER TABLE—The SQL command used to make
changes to table structure. Followed by a keyword (ADD
or MODIFY), it adds a column or changes column
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—The
group that accepted the DBTG recommendations and
augmented database standards in 1975 through its
AND—The SQL logical operator used to link multiple
conditional expressions in a WHERE or HAVING clause. It
requires that all conditional expressions evaluate to true.
anonymous PL/SQL block—A PL/SQL block that has not
been given a specific name.
application processor—See transaction processor (TP).
application programming interface (API)—Software
through which programmers interact with middleware.
Allows the use of generic SQL code, thereby allowing
client processes to be database server-independent.
associative entity—See composite entity.
atomic attribute—An attribute that cannot be further
subdivided to produce meaningful components. For
example, a person’s last name attribute cannot be
meaningfully subdivided into other name components;
therefore, the last name attribute is atomic.
atomicity—See atomic transaction property.
atomic transaction property—A property of transactions
that states that all parts of a transaction must be treated as
a single logical unit of work in which all operations must be
completed (committed) to produce a consistent database.
attribute—A characteristic of an entity or object. An
attribute has a name and a data type.
attribute domain—See domain.
attribute hierarchy—Provides a top-down data
organization that is used for two main purposes:
aggregation and drill-down/roll-up data analysis.
audit log—A database management system security feature
that automatically records a brief description of the
database operations performed by all users.
authentication—The process through which a DBMS
verifies that only registered users are able to access the
authorization management—Defines procedures to
protect and guarantee database security and integrity.
Such procedures include: user access management,
view definition, DBMS access control, and DBMS
automatic query optimization—A method by which a
DBMS takes care of finding the most efficient access path
for the execution of a query.
AVG—A SQL aggregate function that outputs the mean
average for the specified column or expression.