Database Object

What Does Database Object Mean?

A database object in a relational database is a data structure used to either store or reference data. The most common object that people interact with is the table. Other objects are indexes, stored procedures, sequences, views and many more.

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When a database object is created, a new object type cannot be created because all the various object types created are restricted by the very nature, or source code, of the relational database model being used, such as Oracle, SQL Server or Access. What is being created is instances of the objects, such as a new table, an index on that table or a view on the same table.

Techopedia Explains Database Object

Two small but important distinctions in database objects are needed:

  • An object type is the base concept or idea of an object; for example, the concept of a table or index.
  • An object instance is an example of an object type. For example, a table called CUSTOMER_MASTER is an instance of the object type TABLE.

Most of the major database engines offer the same set of major database object types:

  • Tables
  • Indexes
  • Sequences
  • Views
  • Synonyms

Although there are subtle variations in the behavior and the syntax used for the creation of these major database object types, they are almost identical in their concept and what they mean. A table in Oracle behaves almost exactly as a table in SQL Server. This makes work much easier for the database administrator. It is analogous to moving from one car to another made by a different manufacturer; the switches for turning the headlights on may be in different locations, but the overall layout is broadly similar.

When creating an object instance, it is a good idea to follow an easy-to-understand naming convention. This is especially important for database designers whose products are intended to be used by several people. It is also helpful to make work as simple as possible for in-house database administrators by reducing the number of queries made to the creator later. A simple guideline is to add suffixes. Here are two examples:

  • Suffix all the master tables using _MASTER:
    • CUSTOMER_MASTER
    • ACCOUNTS_MASTER
    • LOANS_MASTER
  • Suffix all transactional tables using the suffix _TRANS:
    • DAILY_TRANS
    • LOANS_TRANS
    • INTERBANK_TRANS
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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.