Object Relational databases combine the features of both relational databases and object-oriented programming. This means that when developing these databases, you can include methods and data types. This increases your ability to sort through and locate files within these databases faster. By assigning these data types to your files, you can better filter them through the database. You can also retrieve files that share the same characteristics.
Object Relational Database capabilities are extended with the addition of new data types, access methods and functions found in object-oriented programming. You can add string characters with alpha-numeric data types. Complex data types can combine characteristics of data types that already exist in your database. You can specify data types by the text you wish to contain or by the amount of bytes used to create it. User-defined data types can be opaque or distinctive. You can also add user-defined virtual processors.
Unlike Relational Databases, Object Relational Databases allow the use of inheritance. Within inheritance, you can develop classes for your data types. These objects can inherit certain capabilities from other classes to be used in other functions of the database. These inherited properties could be something simple like all files within "Class A" are insurance claims. So if you program "Class B" to inherit "Class A" characteristics, then "Class B" will also be insurance claims, but they could also be insurance claims that have been processed recently. Through inheritance, your data types will inherit these features of other data types.
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Polymorphism in Object Relational Databases involves allowing one operator to have different meanings within the same database. You can connect your tables within your database by building relationships. This includes records that may all contain the same name but different information. Such as if you had records for Joe Doe, but some were insurance claims and some were accident reports. You can connect tables by the name operator; when you query your database to pull records, it will pull all the records containing Joe Doe.
You would use encapsulation with Object Relational databases in the form of tables. Say, for instance, you want Table 1 to include name, address, telephone number and email address for your contacts. Through encapsulating the "Contacts" class, you combine all of this information into this one table. So that when you query the database for this information, you generate a report in the style of a form to include all of this information.
Database Management Systems
Object Relational Databases can be used to build database management systems. You can connect them to company websites that allow updates to such items as your inventory records. The object components used on your website can make these updates when the user places an order by clicking one of the control buttons programmed to connect to these database managements systems.