Wow! We’ve covered a lot about creating and querying a database!
We started off by installing SQL Server Express Edition and creating a new database for our sample project. Then we started navigating our DBMS and learned how to create tables, insert attributes, select data types, set identity columns, and primary keys for a table.
Next, we moved on to generating scripts containing both database structure and the data contained in the tables. This was an easy and reliable way to move a database to another server. We then explored the opposite action of opening a script and executing its contents to create a database.
Our next topic was the rules for primary and foreign keys. We saw that primary keys could not be null and must be unique. Foreign keys always point back to the primary key in another table, and if the link to the table with the primary key is broken, we end up with orphan records which ends up as junk we can’t use in our database.
We moved on and tackled the issue of using indexes to speed up our data. Using only unique or mostly unique fields tends to give us the best results.
Rounding out our discussion brought us to Structured Query Language, or SQL, and how we use it to create, read, update, and delete data and table structures within our database. This is an important concept since it is used in day-to-day operations for anyone who uses or maintains a database.
Now that you have a good understanding of how to generate and populate a database, try out a short activity to check your new skills. Once you've successfully completed the activity, there will still be much to learn about databases.
If you're learning back-end development, you're now ready to apply your database knowledge to a Java or C# application where your application talks directly to the database. There you will find the real power in connecting a web application to a database and how the two are inseparable.
Wherever your path takes you next, I wish you the best of luck in building your skills as a developer.