I was wondering exactly how database management software could be useful in designing an application. I am not very familiar with what database management software is. I have never used MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server. I have never been a database administrator. I am not familiar with a lot of the terms and concepts used in describing databases, but I think of a simple database as being something like a huge table--like a spreadsheet of records. Again, I have never done anything involving databases.
If I ever wanted to design an application on my own just writing code, and I wanted to deal with (create, manage, retrieve) a very large number of records of a certain type that I define within that application, should I be using a database management system to store all of these records? It seems to me that just using structures, arrays, and other standard programming techniques, I can make records and organize them very easily--and potentially obtain the same or better performance. It is possible to do pretty much anything I want or need to just using conventional programming techniques.
I do not have any idea what the benefits are of using a database management system to store records. Does database management software offer some sort of speed/performance benefit in retrieving records in a custom application? Does it make the process of creating backups easier? What would you use if you were going to program your own application, and it were going to deal with thousands and tens of thousands of the same types of records?