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A database server is a computer program that provides database services to other computer programs or to computers, as defined by the client–server model. The term may also refer to a computer dedicated to running such a program. Database management systems frequently provide database-server functionality, and some database management systems (DBMSs) (such as MySQL) rely exclusively on the client–server model for database access.
Users access a database server either through a "front end" running on the user's computer - which displays requested data - or through the "back end", which runs on the server and handles tasks such as data analysis and storage.
Examples of proprietary database servers include Oracle, DB2, Informix, and Microsoft SQL Server. Examples of GNU General Public Licence database servers include Ingres and MySQL. Every server uses its own query logic and structure. The SQL (Structured Query Language) query language is more or less the same on all relational database servers.
The foundations for modeling large sets of data were first introduced by Charles Bachman in 1969. Bachman introduced Data Structure Diagrams (DSDs) as a means to graphically represent data. DSDs provided a means to represent the relationships between different data entities. In 1970, Codd introduced the concept that users of a database should be ignorant of the "inner workings" of the database. Codd proposed the "relational view" of data which later evolved into the Relational Model which most databases use today. In 1971, the Database Task Report Group of CODASYL (the driving force behind the development of the programming language COBOL) first proposed a "data description language for describing a database, a data description language for describing that part of the data base known to a program, and a data manipulation language."  Most of the research and development of databases focused on the relational model during the 1970s.
In 1975 Bachman demonstrated how the relational model and the data structure set were similar and "congruent" ways of structuring data while working for the Honeywell. The Entity-relationship model was first proposed in its current form by Peter Chen in 1976 while he was conducting research at MIT. This model became the most frequently used model to describe relational databases. Chen was able to propose a model that was superior to the navigational model and was more applicable to the "real world" than the relational model proposed by Codd.
- "DB-Engines Ranking". DB-Engines.com. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Databases - History & Early Development
- The Entity-Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data (1976)