Software systems generally have an architecture, ie. possessing of a structure (form) and organisation (function). The former describes identifiable components and how they relate to one another structurally; the latter describes how the functions of the various structural components interact to provide the overall functionality of the system as a whole. Since a database system is basically a software system (albeit complex), it too possesses an architecture. A typical architecture must define a particular configuration of and interaction between data, software modules, meta-data, interfaces and languages (see Figure 11-1).
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