One of the key differences between a typical database and a blockchain is how the data is structured. A blockchain collects information together in groups, known as blocks, that hold sets of information. Blocks have certain storage capacities and, when filled, are closed and linked to the previously filled block, forming a chain of data known as the blockchain. All new information that follows that freshly added block is put together into a newly formed block that will then also be added to the chain once filled.
A database usually structures its data into tables, whereas a blockchain, structures its data into blocks that are strung together. This data structure inherently makes an irreversible time line of data when implemented in a decentralized nature. When a block is filled, it is set in stone and becomes a part of this time line. Each block in the chain is given an exact time stamp when it is added to the chain. If a block is full, the remaining data is queued to be added in the next block.
Software such as block explorers enables users to retrieve data about transactions, addresses, blocks, fees, and more.