A database machine is a type of computer specially made for accessing a database, but it typically does not have any other tools or programs. Unlike a server, which is capable of holding a database, a database machine may store parts of the database but not the whole thing. Being specially made for this task, this computer is different from a regular one in that it is built with fast connection hardware that can quickly access the server and download even large databases within seconds. Along with getting a database, this machine typically allows users to work on the database.
When a database machine is used, its primary task is to download one or more databases from a server. This computer typically has more random access memory (RAM) and hard drive space than a regular computer, but it tends to have a disadvantage, as well. To keep the speed and memory high, this computer tends to be barebones and usually does not have many other programs or functions outside of accessing a database.
Aside from better hardware specifications, a database machine is typically better suited for getting and running a database from a server, because it has a fast channel. This channel enables the machine to download databases much faster than regular computers. When the database is sent back to the server, the channel makes the uploading much faster, as well.
This computer is only made to download a database from a server; it is not supposed to hold one. The database machine can typically hold parts of a database — if those parts need extensive editing or if they are regularly inspected — because saving an entire database may limit the speed advantage. If an entire database is saved, then this can severely limit the hard drive space and it may become difficult for this machine to download other databases as a result.
While a database machine does not have much functionality outside of obtaining a database, it typically also has the capability of working on one. This is similar to working with a database on a server; the user is able to enter formulas, extract records or delete information with tags and functions. To keep speeds high, all changes are typically saved in real-time and uploaded back to the server. If the user is working on a database section saved in the machine, then it normally does not upload to the server unless instructed to do so.