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Network Database

Definition of Network Database

A network database is a type of database model that allows multiple records to be linked to each other in a hierarchical structure. Unlike the more rigid tabular structure of relational databases, network databases provide flexibility by enabling a record to have multiple parent and child records, forming complex relationships.

Origin of Network Database

The concept of network databases originated in the late 1960s as a response to the limitations of hierarchical databases. Charles Bachman's Integrated Data Store (IDS) and the CODASYL Data Base Task Group's network model were pioneering efforts in this direction. These early developments laid the groundwork for modern network database management systems (DBMS).

Practical Application of Network Database

One practical application of network databases is in managing complex interconnected data structures, such as in telecommunications networks. For example, in a telecommunications company's network management system, network databases can efficiently represent the relationships between different network components like routers, switches, and connections. This allows for streamlined management, monitoring, and troubleshooting of the network infrastructure.

Benefits of Network Database

1. Flexibility: Network databases offer flexibility in representing complex relationships between data entities. This flexibility allows for efficient modeling of real-world scenarios where data relationships are not easily captured in a tabular format.

2. Performance: With optimized data structures and retrieval algorithms, network databases can offer fast access to interconnected data, making them suitable for applications requiring quick data access and retrieval.

3. Scalability: Network databases can scale to manage large volumes of interconnected data efficiently. As data complexity and volume grow, network databases can adapt and maintain performance without significant degradation.

4. Data Integrity: By enforcing relationships between data entities, network databases ensure data integrity and consistency. This helps in maintaining data accuracy and reliability, crucial for applications where data integrity is paramount.


In a network database, data is organized in a more flexible, interconnected structure compared to the tabular structure of a relational database. In a network database, records can have multiple parent and child records, allowing for more complex relationships between data entities.

Some popular network database management systems include IDMS (Integrated Database Management System), TurboIMAGE, and UniData.

Migrating from a relational database to a network database can be challenging due to the differences in data modeling and querying approaches. However, with proper planning and data restructuring, it is feasible, especially for applications where the hierarchical nature of data relationships is essential.


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