The Evolution of Databases

iStock_000016066249XLargeOne of the beauties of a long career is that you get to see how things in your sector evolve over time. Being in IT is no different other than the phenomenal rate of change.

Nowhere is this more evident than in databases. When I started out in the late eighties I was a COBOL programmer working on hierarchical databases and specifically IDMSX on ICL’s VME platform. These databases worked on the basis of linked lists and you had to “walk” through a whole chain in order to get to the record you wanted.

Hierarchical databases were straightforward to learn … Read the rest

Documenting MySQL Tables in MediaWiki

20130370_160381-CapturFilesThe last few companies that I have worked for we have setup an internal wiki that everyone uses to hold information about all aspects of the business including, of course, the technical team. We use MediaWiki for this mainly because it is easy to setup and is also familiar to users through Wikipedia.

One area that we try and document is the database structure. Having this on hand and searchable in the wiki allows new employees to quickly get to grips with it and makes us all more productive.

The issue is that creating the MediaWiki tables by hand is … Read the rest