In this guide, we will learn what is an instance and schema in DBMS.
Definition of schema: Design of a database is called the schema. Schema is of three types: Physical schema, logical schema and view schema.
For example: In the following diagram, we have a schema that shows the relationship between three tables: Course, Student and Section. The diagram only shows the design of the database, it doesn’t show the data present in those tables. Schema is only a structural view(design) of a database as shown in the diagram below.
The design of a database at physical level is called physical schema, how the data stored in blocks of storage is described at this level.
Design of database at logical level is called logical schema, programmers and database administrators work at this level, at this level data can be described as certain types of data records gets stored in data structures, however the internal details such as implementation of data structure is hidden at this level (available at physical level).
Design of database at view level is called view schema. This generally describes end user interaction with database systems.
To learn more about these schemas, refer 3 level data abstraction architecture.
Definition of instance: The data stored in database at a particular moment of time is called instance of database. Database schema defines the variable declarations in tables that belong to a particular database; the value of these variables at a moment of time is called the instance of that database.
For example, lets say we have a single table student in the database, today the table has 100 records, so today the instance of the database has 100 records. Lets say we are going to add another 100 records in this table by tomorrow so the instance of database tomorrow will have 200 records in table. In short, at a particular moment the data stored in database is called the instance, that changes over time when we add or delete data from the database.