Comparison of Hierarchical and Relational Databases

1262 Words Nov 8th, 2012 6 Pages
Hierarchical and relational databases are two different manners in which to store and organize data that also allow management and utilization of that data. There are essential aspects that any database should be able to provide, those of creating, reading, updating and deleting data. Upon becoming familiar with how each database is set up, it is important to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each model in determining which type of database one would want to utilize. The hierarchical database is one of the oldest types of database models. It is structured with parent/child relationships, where one parent category of data can have many children categories of data but any child category of data can only have one parent (Hsiao, …show more content…
Bradley, Mascaro, and Santhakumar (2005) found that a relational database worked best for them when they sought a solution to their data storage and access issues in their trial-based experiments. Their difficulty was in finding a database structure was complex enough to be applicable to any experiment yet specific enough to contain the data with sufficient structure. While their database was designed specifically for neurophysiological data collected from monkeys, they found that the ability to add and delete data easily and the ability to join different tables in allowed it to be of best use to them. Since human psychophysical experiments have those same needs those labs can populate and access the same database structure by the mechanisms that would best suit their needs.
The relational database does have some drawbacks. For example, it may take more time to search for data than some other methods (Heberling, 2008). The relational database would not be the best option if the application used with the database required a special data topology (Stephens, 2009). Suri and Sharma (2011) found that, though the relational database has