UNIT 9.1 Creating Databases for Biological Information: An Introduction

  1. Lincoln Stein

Published Online: 1 AUG 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0471250953.bi0901s00

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

Current Protocols in Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Stein, L. 2002. Creating Databases for Biological Information: An Introduction. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics. 00:9.1:9.1.1–9.1.9.

Author Information

  1. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2002
  2. Published Print: JAN 2003

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 JUN 2013)


The essence of bioinformatics is dealing with large quantities of information. Whether it be sequencing data, microarray data files, mass spectrometric data (e.g., fingerprints), the catalog of strains arising from an insertional mutagenesis project, or even large numbers of PDF files, there inevitably comes a time when the information can simply no longer be managed with files and directories. This is where databases come into play. This unit briefly reviews the characteristics of several database management systems, including flat file, indexed file, and relational databases, as well as ACeDB. It compares their strengths and weaknesses and offers some general guidelines for selecting an appropriate database management system.