Virtual database definition
A virtual database is a management system that allows users to query data from multiple sources as if they were part of a single, unified database. By providing a consistent view of data from different formats, virtual databases obviate the need for the user to learn how to manipulate their underlying data structures and hunt for information separately.
How a virtual database works
A virtual database creates an abstraction layer on top of one or more data sources (such as SQL databases, NoSQL databases, or external APIs), using a technique known as “data virtualization” to create a logical data model that maps to their data structures. The resulting superstructure allows users to query data from different subsystems using a common set of data definitions and commands.
Common virtual database uses
- Businesses frequently use virtual databases to get a unified view of the data for business analysis and reporting.
- Virtual databases are used by IT professionals to help with data migration — for example, by connecting source and target databases.
- Virtual databases allow management and IT applications to access data from various sources seamlessly.