Is blockchain a database? Database management is a huge niche in itself and blockchain is an independent and evolving technology. While they have some common traits in construction and functioning, they can be well-demarcated on various grounds. Which is better is a topic without unambiguous conclusion, but each of them has pertinence depending on the situation of employment.
Method of administration plays the major line of difference
The way they are controlled, monitored and operated is the prime line of difference between a database and a blockchain database. The former has a centralized authority to control its structure and functioning whereas a blockchain does not have any central administrative body.
The decentralized control of the blockchain network works by all the elements or ‘nodes’ of the network getting equal power to view, review, modify and finalize any data or transaction represented by each block entry. This gives maximum level of transparency in the distributed network system, where every user is given full access to the blockchain data that is both read and write-permissible. A permissioned form of blockchain is in use now giving access to selected users for bypassing the security layer, that are usually the address keys.
No other person outside the network is aware of the anonymous chain database, thereby enabling to get more operating accuracy, security and ease of maintenance within the blockchain.
A database can be of different types depending on its organization and purpose. For example, an employee database of a company maintains the complete profile details of its employees including personal and professional details. It records the attendance, leave plans, performance analysis, welfare support records, grievances, testimonials, salary slips etc and can be operated by the concerned employee and the designated higher level central authority, which may be HR Manager, Department Head or the top-most designated employee of the company. No other member of the organization is permitted to view or modify entries in it unless permitted under special circumstances through the ID and password.
Another example is that of the central repository of the intellectual properties owned by a manufacturing company, the access to which is again given only to the IPR section employee and the central managing authority, for both reading and writing.
A third example of database is an organized record of companies with their field of operation in a particular sector, their pharmaceutics and the database includes the complete information about them, subjected to changes according to the occurrence. The database may be centrally managed by its builder either directly or through selected database management employees in parts, with restricted access to the listed company authorities for verification. The purpose of such databases is mainly to assist concurrent projects, partnerships, contracts or business deals between the companies for the growth of the sector as a whole.