The Role of a Database in a Web Application

By Morris Wall

The primary role of a database is to store and display updated information in a web application. Registration websites, discussion forums and retail commerce websites are examples of web applications that depend upon a robust database component.


Database applications are used to search, sort, filter and present information based upon web requests from users. Databases can also contain code to perform mathematical and statistical calculations on the data to support queries submitted from web browsers.


Databases grant and limit access to data based upon criteria such as user name, password, region or account number. Databases also enforce data integrity by ensuring that data is collected and presented using a consistent format.


A dynamic website displays updated information on web pages when the database is updated by the host or when users submit information using web forms. The database automatically updates web pages, eliminating the requirement to manually update the HTML code on individual pages.