Knowledge is power. Knowledge is mostly acquired through information. Therefore, good information shapes our society. This is the source of ideas for people to develop databases to store information and retrieve it when required as Ramakrishnan and Gehrke (2002) agree that, “data is a recognized asset”. This paper will examine, compare and contrast the use of a database and wikis then recommend one of them for use.
Databases must add value to whatever we do or whatever we use them for. In the case of students using it to enter data, retrieve information for their use. To improve data integrity, then a database is preferred to the wikis. In a database not everybody will enter information at any given time or randomly like wikis. Wikis are open and anybody can edit them at any time such that sensitive issues that touch the environment will not be taken seriously. Assuming the students were collecting this data for research purposes, then a database is good and necessary for the reason that data security is ensured. A database stores large amounts of data and over a long period of time not like a wiki unless the students will want to do away with it, therefore a database is the best compared to a wiki of which its information can be altered and there will be no historical data for comparison which a database does very well.
Database will ensure that members of a given group or the students access correct data and data that focus only on the issue they are pursuing or interested. The database will confine them within their group members and any information that may be in the database will be for members only and those who have the right to access the database. Wikis are accessed by anyone on the internet.
The Way Forward.
The best way forward is to use a database and not a wiki so that students are not disrupted by unnecessary information from everybody. Cheap is expensive, it may take a little bit longer and many resources including money and time for a database to be developed but it is the best for posterity. Remember this will only concern students and not everybody, that is why a database is the best.
Ramakrishnan, R. & Gehrke, J 2002, Database Management Systems, McGraw, New York.