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, per second, 500 data points are generated by flights. But with such an enormous amount of data coming in, how can we make use of it to gain insights? Also, can these insights make flight travel even better? Where to store the data so that we can easily access it?
Well, we can use the database management system to do so.
In this blog on What is DBMS, we will learn about it in this order:
Watch this YouTube video tutorial to understand the basics of databases and DBMS:
Introduction to Databases
Before understanding what a DBMS is, let’s first understand what a database is.
What is a database?
In layman’s terms, a 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, which can be modified, retrieved, or updated. The data, the DBMS, and the 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. Also, it will need to keep the details of the professors working there and about the 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.’ And, 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’s talk about the applications of databases in the real world, which will help us understand the concept much better.
- Banking: In the banking sector, databases are used for storing customer information, transaction activities, and the details of withdrawals, deposits, loans, etc.
- Airlines: Here, they are used for keeping information on navigations, arrival and departure stats, reservations 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
A 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 we intend to perform on databases. A DBMS accepts the incoming data either from an application or from a user who is manually entering it.
- It doesn’t matter if it is a large or small DBMS; with the help of it, 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. Also, these commands are the interface between the database and the end-users to establish communication.
Characteristics of DBMS
Following are the major characteristics of a Database Management System:
- A DBMS provides security and removes redundancy.
- It supports multi-user environments that allow different users to view, manipulate, and control data in parallel.
- The DBMS follows the ACID concept (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability).
- It 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: The style of a hierarchical database 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 the branches.
- Network databases: This style of database management system embraces several partnerships where it is possible to connect several user records at the same time in parallel.
- Relational databases (RDBMS): This type of database management system helps users locate and manipulate the 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: Here, the 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, you would have got a fair idea about what a Database Management System is and the kind of versatility it provides to the 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 our application will provide the edge that can make our 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 the DBMS software listed here have both benefits and drawbacks. DBMS as a whole has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of DBMS
The advantages of DBMS are as follows:
- Various formats of data can be stored, and the data can be retrieved by a range of methods in the Structured Query Language.
- As most of the databases usually have a centralized nature, they can be accessed quickly and managed easily.
- We can set authorized users who can view, share, and access the data. This ensures security for the data.
- It facilitates smooth incorporation of programming languages, such as C++, Python, and PHP, to allow users to establish a connection with third-party applications or a web application.
- To prevent the 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, it provides data protection and integrity.
The disadvantages of DBMS are listed below:
- In some cases, database management systems 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 would increase the costs again.
- Certain DBMS systems cannot run complex queries in them as complex queries will slow down all the processes running on them.
To get an in-depth explanation of the DBMS concepts, check out our 3-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 a DBMS for small projects where the 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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