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 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 database is.
What is database?
In layperson’s terms, 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, which 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.
Different Types of Databases
Below are the different types of databases that are in use:
- Object-oriented databases
- Relational databases
- Distributed databases
- Hierarchical databases
- Cloud databases
Applications of Databases
In this section, let us talk about the applications of databases in the real world, which will help us to understand the concept much better.
- Banking: In the banking sector, databases are used for storing customer information, transaction activities, and details of withdrawals, deposits, loans, etc.
- Airlines: In airlines, databases are used for keeping information on navigation, arrival and departure stats, reservation details, etc.
- HR management: HR departments of companies use databases for accounts management and keeping employee records.
- Sales: In the sales sector, databases are used for storing key information regarding products, sales, stocks, etc.
Introduction to DBMS
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 database and end users to establish communication.
Characteristics of DBMS
The following are the major characteristics of DBMS:
- DBMS provides security and removes redundancy.
- DBMS supports multiuser environments that allow different users to view, manipulate, and control data in parallel.
- DBMS follows the ACID concept (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability.)
- DBMS supports multiple views of the same data.
Types of Database Management System
There are broadly four categories or types of DBMS:
- Hierarchical databases
- Network databases
- Relational databases (RDBMS)
- 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.
Popular DBMS Software
Next, we will check out the popular DBMS software in use. They are given below:
- LibreOffice Base
- Microsoft Access
All DBMS software listed above have both benefits and drawbacks. DBMS as a whole has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us take a look.
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Advantages and Disadvantages 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 authorized users who can view, share, and access data. This ensures security for data.
- DBMS facilitates 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.
- 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.
To get an in-depth explanation of DBMS concepts, check out our three-hour video on Database Management and SQL:
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.
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