What is a database catalog?

A database catalog is a function included in a server that allows users and administrators to verify information about each database installed on that server. Along with common information, a database catalog also contains metadata on each database, such as how many tables and rows are being used in a given database. One way for administrators to verify database changes is to look at the catalog, because this saves all recent changes to the database along with information about the people who made the changes. Users typically have no or limited access to the catalog; the catalog automatically has an email link so users can email administrators and request access.

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If a business or website owner has a server, there will typically be multiple databases included on that server. These databases can contain different types of information or can be used to maximize the storage limit of each database. It can be difficult for administrators to use or regulate each database, but the database catalog can help them with this task. This is because the catalog saves a file of all databases so that administrators do not forget about any of them.

In addition to the name of each database on the server, a database catalog can also access the metadata for each database. This metadata contains basic information about the database, such as how many tables are being filled with data and the number of users that have access to the database. Although the metadata cannot be changed, it makes it easier for users and administrators to know the size of a database at a glance.

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The database catalog doesn’t just store metadata; it also stores information about recent changes. This section of the catalog shows all changes and displays the username and Internet Protocol (IP) address so administrators know who is responsible for the changes. If the change is harmful to the database, administrators will know who the culprit is.

While administrators generally have unlimited access to the database catalog, most users have limited or no access. This is because users typically do not need metadata information, nor do they need to know about the number of databases on a server. If users need access, the catalog will automatically have an email link that allows users to email administrators to request access. Administrators may or may not grant this access, based on users’ reasons and history.

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