What Is a Hypermedia Database?

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A hypermedia database is a computer information retrieval system that allows a user to access and work on audio-visual recordings, text, graphics and photographs of a stored subject. The World Wide Web is a perfect example of a hypermedia database.

The Web is a type of hypermedia database because it provides results for all available media of a phenomenon. For example, if a user types the word “vehicle” on a search engine, it gives results of various media that “vehicle” falls under. Records of items are stored according to the subject of the file. A hypermedia database may also provide hyperlinks to additional information regarding a specified subject. The biggest advantage of hypermedia databases as compared to traditional databases is that documents are accessed via organized links. Examples of hypermedia database products in today’s market are Visual FoxPro and FileMaker Developer. These brands of software are excellent for creating business and management content. Software applications that are more directed to entertainment include Adobe Director, Adobe Flash, Macromedia Authorware and MatchWare Mediator.

In a learning environment, a hypermedia database offers students great control of their environments. For example, the idea has been used for learning foreign languages. A user clicks on a word and listens to an audio of the word’s pronunciation. The database can also provide animation, images and video for the student to better understand the foreign word.