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What is the difference between a relational database and a repository?

What's the difference between a relational database and a repository?

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In the simplest terms, a repository is nothing more than a collection of knowledge. A repository is a place where the data is stored. The repository is often stored in relational databases, but can be stored anywhere that can hold the data: Excel spreadsheets, hierarchical databases, or even text files.

A relational database is a distinct type of database where data is stored in related tables. This relational database Wikipedia entry does a really good job of describing them.

Not all repositories are stored in relational databases, but many are.

This was first published in January 2008

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