Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #124 10/26/2011

Question: What is the difference in a spreadsheet and a database?


Spreadsheets are normally used for a data that involves doing calculations. Databases are used to store lots of information what is retained either item by item or as a whole. Normally information that is recorded by hand in accounting type papers or ledgers are kept in spreadsheets. Information that you may keep in a file by hand or on index cards is usually in a database.

People will use spreadsheets to keep smaller databases as they make simple to look at all of the data. However when you get over 50-100 records it will work better in a real database.

Types if data that are kept in data bases include a file of recipes with each recipe being a different record, mailing lists, records of how people do for instance a doctor could keep patient files in a database with each patient on a different record, and membership lists.

Information that is well suited for a spreadsheet could b very large amounts of this information or small would include a financial record of an organization, I put all my tax deductions in a spreadsheet, I use a spread sheet to record shooting scores of young people at the BB gun match I work with each summer and it automatically sorts and calculates totals, and to do mathematical figuring as the spread sheet includes may formulas built in.

People today use Access most often for a personal database and Excel for a spreadsheet. Both of these are included in Microsoft Office. Open Office and others have their own spreadsheets and databases. On an enterprise level SQLServer and Oracle and others are usually used for a database.