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A desktop database is a database system that is made to run on a single computer or PC. These simpler solutions for data storage are much more limited and constrained than larger data center or data warehouse systems, where primitive database software is replaced by sophisticated hardware and networking setups.
Common desktop database systems like Microsoft Access enable easy installation on a computer and a relatively user-friendly database environment. By attaching a desktop database to a simple server network, companies can take advantage of more straightforward IT setups to store a variety of data. While desktop databases may be Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) compliant and offer a range of functionality for smaller data sets, they do not generally support the kinds of advanced predictive analytics and data mining that so many modern companies want included in their software architectures. That’s why modern database design is going far beyond the desktop database to database systems that may be composed of dozens of hardware pieces, multiple servers and virtualized network environments, as well as advanced data handlers that will move data pieces around in a much more complex trajectory than those supported by a desktop database system.