Computer Basics

Why Excel is not a Database? [Answered]

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There were lots of spreadsheet package software were available in the market but among all these spreadsheet packages Microsoft excel is the most popular one and it is the most useable spreadsheet package amongst users.

But some peoples are getting confused between excel and database and they think that excel is an example of a database. But that is not the actual truth, excel is not a database and here in this article, I am going to share with you some of the essential causes about why excel is not a database? So, read this entire article for detailed information.

So, why excel is not a database? there were several reasons and based on those reasons it can be said that Excel is not a database, the reasons are within excel the data we’re getting stores within cells, and within the cell, you can store any type of information while that is not the case within the database here you can only store the raw data. Besides that within excel you can perform lots of data and besides that, you can perform other calculations within excel and excel is unable to handle much data like databases, and therefore based on these cases it can be said that Excel is not a database.

To know more about this topic read this entire article for detailed information.

Why Excel is not a Database? [Major Reasons]

There is a lot of confusion amongst the people between data tables, databases, and excel spreadsheets. Most people think that these things are similar but that is not the actual case. These things are almost different from each other.

Here in this section, I have discussed why excel is not a database-


The first major point is that Excel is not a database it is a spreadsheet package. Generally, the spreadsheet is a kind of electronic ledger, an electronic version of paper accounting worksheets. It was mainly created to facilitate people who need to stores their accounting information in tabular forms digitally.

It can contain a large amount of data and stores that data in tabular forms and it can the existing data to create calculations.

Well, these things can also be possible within the database, and therefore most people getting confused and thinks excel and database are closely co-related but they are different.

Stores any type of Information:

Within a spreadsheet or Excel, every cell is treated as a unique entity. And it can store any type of information.

It can stores a date an integer value, string name and besides this thing, you can also apply several formats within your text. This is not inherent to the databases, databases only can store the raw data.

Besides that preset the type of data contained in a certain field. For example, in a field containing date values if the user tries to insert the strings the software or database will show an error. This thing doesn’t happen within excel, if you insert a column with date values you should not get the error message.

This happens mainly because excel stores the integer value but the database won’t.

Data Stores:

Within excel or spreadsheets, data were getting stores within the cell. But in the database data were stores in the record of a table meaning you must count the record in a table to express how long the data table is, not the numbers of the cells.

And within the database, you cannot pick any font color or size all you care about the information were getting stores. While on the other side in excel you can change the font color, size, and other things.

Here I want to mention that within the database formatting is not allowed but within excel formatting is allowed.


This is another substantial difference. In spreadsheets or excel, different cells can contain different calculations, such as functions and formulas. This means if you want to combine two integers then the results will be stores in other cells.

While in the database all calculations and operations are based on the existing data and it’s done after data retrieval. Within the database, there are similar options like view in which you can perform calculations. These objects also contain columns that can be normal columns or contain a certain type of calculations.

Multiple worksheets:

You have to think that excel or spreadsheet can contain multiple datasheets, so one can create tables on the worksheets and then use the excels sheets to create relations between the tables. Well, the fact is within excel such relations can be logically limited.

And instead of setting the spreadsheets, excel, or worksheets, one can set up relations between the tables and this will boost the performance of operations increasing the speed at which you can manipulate your dataset.

Handling Data:

Excel is incapable to handle 1 million rows of data and there are no such solutions to fix this problem.

And in this case, the database is better to use a database that can handle more than 10 million records and it can solve your problem.

Multi-User property:

Referring to the multi-user property database were lagging, essentially every person must update their spreadsheet with new data. For instance, if there is a new purchase to register or to register the last name in customer columns every user must make these changes manually.

On the other hand, databases provide a stable structure, controlling access permissions and user restrictions. One person can make it change that is usually visible to everybody instantly. And this feature increases its efficiency.

And therefore in terms of data consistency databases were more powerful instead of excel.

Duplicate Information:

Using data consistency and data integrity using databases eliminates duplicate information which is another way to save space and increase efficiency.

And within excel there is a slight possibility of duplicate information.

In ConClusion:

In this article I have mentioned some of the essential causes about why excel is not a database, I hope you have liked this article and if you have any kind of information then you can ask in the comment section.

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