What is DBMS?
Updated on 06th Aug, 22 584 Views

Have you ever imagined how much data is generated when you go on a trip to the Maldives by flight?

Make a blind guess! 50 GB or 100 GB?

A minimum of 500 GB of data will be generated when you travel to the Maldives by plane.

IBM in 2020 quoted that 500 data points are generated by flights per second. But with such a large amount of data, how can we make use of it to gain insights? Can these insights make air travel even better? Where to store the data so that we can easily access it?

Well, we can use a database management system to do so.

In this blog, we will learn about it in the following order:

Watch this YouTube video tutorial to understand the basics of databases and DBMS:

Introduction to Databases

Before understanding what DBMS is, let us first understand what a database is.

In layperson’s terms, the database is a big container where data is stored in a structured format. We cannot store semi-structured or unstructured data in a database.

A database is an organized collection of data that can be modified, retrieved, or updated. Data, DBMS, and applications associated with them together form the database concept. The data, stored in the database, is in the row and column format, which is called a table. Every website, which needs us to sign up, uses a database. There is no internet without databases.

For instance, a college will have to keep the information about its students, including roll number, name, age, blood group, etc. The college will also need to keep the details of the professors and infrastructure. The details, that the college has, can be stored in a database named College, or if it is just the student details, then it can be named Students. All such details should be in a structured format, such as tables, in a hierarchy.

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What is a Database Management System?

Database Management System (DBMS) is a software application that is used to create, access, maintain, and manage databases. We can install it like any other application and use SQL for all the operations that we intend to perform on databases. DBMS accepts the incoming data either from an application or from a user who is manually entering it.

  • It does not matter if it is a large or small DBMS, with its help, we can store and retrieve data and make changes whenever we want to.
  • Some commands are predefined in DBMS, and these commands can be used to manipulate the database. These commands are also the interface between the database and end-users to establish communication.

Database Management System Examples

A few examples of databases are:

  • Oracle – Oracle is a Relational Database Management System. It can be stored on-site or in the cloud. It uses enterprise-scale technology to offer a wide range of features to the users.
  • MySQL – Used by platforms like Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, MySQL is a Relational Database Management System. It is often integrated with open-source Content Management Systems (CMS).
  • SQL Server – SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System developed by Microsoft. It was based on SQL, a query language that helps users in data query and database management.

Components of DBMS

There are five major components of DBMS:

  • Hardware – Hardware includes the actual physical computer system that is used to access the database. Mainframes to microcomputers are utilized in DBMS. Oftentimes large storage devices are used to store a huge amount of data.
  • Software – The DBMS is the Software here. It helps connect the physical database to the end users. Whenever a user wants to access the database, access has to be granted by the software.
  • Procedures – All the instructions that are given to access the DBMS, fall under Procedures. From installing DBMS to generating reports, all of these instructions are a part of the procedures involved in DBMS.
  • Data – Data is the information that is managed by DBMS. DBMS helps in managing data and easing access to useful information. Metadata, the information stored in DBMS for better comprehension of the data, is also stored in DBMS itself.
  • Database Access Language – The language that is used to write commands on the DBMS to access, utilize, manage, update and delete data, is called the Database Access Language. Commands are written using the Database Access Language and submitted to the DBMS so they can be executed by the DBMS.

Types of DBMS

There are broadly four categories or types of DBMS:

  1. Hierarchical databases
  2. Network databases
  3. Relational databases (RDBMS)
  4. Object-oriented databases
  • Hierarchical databases: This type of DBMS showcases a parent-child type of relationship. This relationship forms a tree-like structure where the nodes (leaves) of the tree represent records and the fields are represented by branches.
  • Network databases: This style of DBMS embraces several partnerships where it is possible to connect multiple user records at the same time in parallel.
  • Relational databases (RDBMS): This type of DBMS helps users to locate and manipulate data that has connections with another piece of data in the database. It uses tables for storing the data in a row-and-column format.
  • Object-oriented databases: In this type of DBMS, data is stored in individual components called objects, where each object is a piece of data with some instructions for the tasks that should be performed on that data.

Now, we have a fair idea about what DBMS is and the kind of versatility it provides to developers. DBMS software can be used differently as there are various DBMS architectures. Choosing a DBMS completely depends on end-user goals. Choosing the right DBMS for an application will provide an edge that can make the application work seamlessly.

Application of DBMS

SectorApplication
UniversitiesStudent information, courses, grades, etc.
SalesCustomer information, sales, etc.
FinanceStock information, sales, bonds, etc.
BankingCustomer information, account, activities, deposits, loans, etc.
ManufacturingProduction information, suppliers, inventories, etc.
AirlinesCustomer information, schedules, reservations, etc.
HR ManagementEmployee information, payroll, deduction, paychecks, etc.
TelecommunicationCall records, bills, usage, etc.

Advantages of DBMS

  • Various formats of data can be stored, and data can be retrieved by a range of methods in the Structured Query Language.
  • As most databases are usually centralized in nature, they can be accessed quickly and managed easily.
  • We can set up authorized users who can view, share, and access data. This ensures security for data.
  • DBMS facilitates the smooth incorporation of programming languages, such as C++, Python, and PHP, to allow users to establish a connection with a web application or third-party applications.
  • To prevent data from being inaccessible when there is an overload, a recovery system with automated backups is provided by almost every DBMS software.
  • With minimum data duplicity and redundancy, DBMS provides data protection and integrity.

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Disadvantages of DBMS

  • In some cases, DBMSs are highly complicated systems to set up and maintain.
  • The cost of DBMS hardware and applications is comparatively high, exhausting an organization’s budget.
  • In certain organizations, all information is integrated into a common database, which may get destroyed due to electrical issues or it may get corrupted in storage media. Having backups is preferred in such situations but that increases the cost.
  • Certain DBMS systems cannot run complex queries as they slow down the other processes that are running.

When Not to Use a DBMS?

Despite the earlier mentioned disadvantages, a DBMS system is still useful. However, the initial investment required to build a DBMS infrastructure is quite high. Therefore, it is not ideal to use DBMS for small projects where an organization cannot afford the hardware and training costs. But, this is only when we are setting up our own database servers. Cloud databases are cheap and come in handy, and anybody can use them.

Moreover, if there is no need to give access to multiple users, then using a database is a waste of time to set up. Also, though a database is really good for storing data, it is not ideal to use it for data manipulation. We can instead use a data warehouse, or if it is for a small-scale project, then we can go with flat files.

This blog has so far answered the question “What is DBMS?” and has explained all that is to know about it.

Do you have any doubts?

Drop a question in the comments section or in our SQL forum, and we will clear your doubts. Also, make sure to check our blogs and YouTube channel for free content on different technologies.

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