What Data Structure Is Commonly Used in Database?


Heather Bennett

What Data Structure Is Commonly Used in Database?

A database is a collection of organized data that is stored and accessed electronically. It is crucial to choose the right data structure for efficient storage, retrieval, and manipulation of data. In this article, we will explore the commonly used data structures in databases and understand their benefits and use cases.

1. Array

An array is a basic data structure that stores a fixed-size sequential collection of elements of the same type.

In databases, arrays can be used to store fixed-sized records or elements with a known order. However, arrays have limitations when it comes to dynamic resizing or frequent insertions and deletions.

2. Linked List

A linked list is a linear data structure where each element (node) contains a reference to the next element in the sequence.

Linked lists are flexible in terms of size changes and efficient for insertions and deletions at any position within the list. However, accessing elements in a linked list requires traversal from the beginning.

3. Hash Table

A hash table, also known as a hash map, is a data structure that uses hash functions to map keys to values.

It offers constant-time average case complexity for search, insert, and delete operations. Hash tables are suitable for scenarios where fast access to individual records based on unique keys is required.

4. B-Tree

A B-tree is a self-balancing search tree that maintains sorted data and allows efficient insertion, deletion, and search operations.

B-trees are commonly used in database systems due to their ability to handle large amounts of structured data efficiently. They provide logarithmic time complexity for most operations.

5. Graph

A graph is a collection of nodes connected by edges.

In databases, graphs can represent complex relationships between entities. Graph databases are ideal for scenarios where the relationships between data points are as important as the data itself. They excel in handling highly interconnected data and traversing complex relationships.


Choosing the right data structure is crucial for efficient database operations. Each data structure has its own strengths and weaknesses, and selecting the appropriate one depends on the specific requirements of your application. Arrays, linked lists, hash tables, B-trees, and graphs are commonly used in databases, each offering unique advantages in terms of storage efficiency, access speed, and handling complex relationships.

Remember to consider factors such as data size, access patterns, and the nature of relationships when deciding which data structure to use in your database.

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