About Database Tables

Database tables will most likely be the area you'll become most familiar with after working with databases for a while. Now, before we go ahead and start adding tables to our new database, let's have a look at what a database table actually is.

What is a Table?

In relational database terms, a table is responsible for storing data in the database. Database tables consist of rows and columns.

  • Screenshot of a database table with a row highlighted.

    Rows

    Rows run horizontally. They represent each record. A row is the smallest unit of data that can be inserted into a database.

    Rows span multiple columns, and therefore, the definition of a column applies to the cell where the row intersects with that column.

    In this example, the fourth row is selected/highlighted.

  • Screenshot of a database table with a column highlighted.

    Columns

    Columns run vertically. They contain the definition of each field.

    You give each column a name, so that it is describes the data that is stored. Examples of column names could include FirstName, LastName, ProductId, Price, etc

    In this example, the second row (called AlbumName) is selected/highlighted.

Many Tables

Most relational databases contain many tables.

For example, a database might have a Customers table, a Products table, an Orders table, and many more. In fact, it's not uncommon for a corporate database to contain hundreds of tables.