Browse Definitions:
Definition

database abstraction layer

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore, Mark Whitehorn

A database abstraction layer is a simplified representation of a database in the form of a written description or a diagram.

Abstraction, in general, is the process of taking away or removing characteristics from something in order to reduce it to a set of essential characteristics. Database abstraction layers facilitate the design of flexible databases. 

The three formal abstraction layers:

  • User model: An informal representation of how the user describes the database.
  • Logical model: More formal, with more detail and often rendered as an entity relationship model (ERM).
  • Physical model: More detail added such as indexing and data types.

The alternative to abstraction layers is hard-coding rules and metadata into the database during development.  In that case, coding also establishes how business terms, definitions, rules, and other information are defined on behalf of the applications that access the database.

Hard-coding is fine for those applications that are originally planned to access the database. However, that approach makes it much more complicated for other applications with different requirements to communicate with the database.  A data abstraction layer allows for maximum flexibility and guarantees that when additional business applications need to access the database, it isn’t necessary to make significant changes to support them. 

This was last updated in June 2014

Continue Reading About database abstraction layer

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close