Database Management Software: Features, Types, Benefits, and Uses

By |2021-07-12T15:26:54+00:00October 31st, 2020|

Learn all about database management software, its features: functions, and applications. The blog answers common questions about what is database software and what are the prominent types of data management. Additionally, it also delves into the role of DBMS in business, what DBMS stands for, along with the definition of DBMS, types, examples, use cases, and advantages of database management software in detail.

Before we proceed, let’s briefly discuss what is a database. A database is an organized collection of structured data that eases accessibility and management of data. Now, let’s understand the basic functions of an electronic database. The purpose of a database is to assist in organizing and storing large volumes of data, which ultimately improves data accessibility. Hence, you can improve your data analysis and get actionable insights without any delays by using database software. Data can be quickly and efficiently found in a database; this allows multiple users to access and modify it accordingly. 

Now that we know what database software is and what databases are used for, let’s move ahead towards understanding what is a database management software (DBMS) with examples, and why organizations need it. The volume of data is increasing rapidly worldwide, making it difficult for companies to manage their data and gain valuable insights. Thus, making database management an absolute necessity. But, what does database management mean? Simply put, database management refers to the manipulation of data by an organization to meet company objectives. This gives rise to the need for a database management system. 

DBMS Definition: What is Database Management Software (DBMS)?

A Database Management Software or DBM software is used for storing, manipulating, and managing data, such as format, names of fields, and record and file structures in a database environment. Users can construct their own databases using a DBMS to satisfy their business requirements. For example, dBase was one of the first DBMS for micro-computers. Database design also supports the creation, design, implementation, and maintenance of an organization-wide data management system.

To interact with a database, a DBMS package generally uses SQL queries. It receives a command from a database administrator (DBA) and prompts the system to perform the necessary action. These instructions can be about loading, retrieving, or modifying existing data in the system.

Database System Environment and Data Security

Database Management System Environment (Source: Kullabs)

Over the years, new DBMS software has been introduced with different architecture and application focus. One such example of database software is advanced database systems that meet the requirements of modern-day database applications in terms of offering data modeling, data integration capabilities, support for multimedia data, etc.

What Type of Information is Stored in a Database?

The purpose of a database is to store different data in several ways. Some of the types of data that can be stored in a database software are:

  • Textual data
  • Numerical data
  • Binary data
  • Data and time

Most Popular Database Management Software (DBMS)

A database management software features data independence, as the storage mechanism and formats can be changed without altering the entire application within the database. The top database software includes MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access DBMS, Oracle, IBM DB2, and FoxPro.

The following are some examples of database applications. A common DBMS tool, MySQL, a free business database software, is high-performing database software that helps enterprise users build scalable database applications. Similarly, the features of FoxPro include creating, adding, editing, and removing information from a database.

Main Features of a DBMS

An efficient database management software should have the following features:

·       Low Repetition and Redundancy

In a database, the chances of data duplication are quite high as several users use one database. A DBMS reduces data repetition and redundancy by creating a single data repository that can be accessed by multiple users, even allowing easy data mapping while performing ETL.

·       Easy Maintenance of Large Databases

Most organizational data is stored in large databases. A DBMS helps maintain these databases by enforcing user-defined validation and integrity constraints, such as user-based access.

·       Enhanced Security

When handling large amounts of data, security becomes the top-most concern for all businesses. A database management software doesn’t allow full access to anyone except the database administrator or the departmental head. Only they can modify the database and control user access, making the database more secure. All other users are restricted, depending on their access level.

·       Improved File Consistency

By implementing a database management system, organizations can create a standardized way to use files and ensure consistency of data with other systems and applications. Manipulating and streamlining advanced data management systems is essential. The application of an advanced database system allows using the same rules to all the data throughout the organization.

·       Multi-User Environment Support

A database management software features and supports a multi-user environment, allowing several users to access and work on data concurrently. Db software also supports several views of the data. A view is a subsection of a database that’s distinct and dedicated to specific operators of the system.

As a database is typically accessed by multiple operators simultaneously, these operators may need different database views. For example, operator A may want to print a bank statement, whereas Operator B would want to only check the bank balance. Although both are querying the same database, they will be presented with different views.

In addition to the features mentioned above, it is also essential to look for certain qualities in a database system. For example, it should represent logical structures of the problem, eliminate redundant data storage, and offer seamless data access with DBMS tools. Astera offers one of the best data management systems that users could try for free!

DBMS Language

To communicate database updates and queries, the DBMS language is used. Different types of database languages are explained below:

  1.  Data Definition Language (DDL): It is used to save information regarding table schemas, indexes, columns, constraints, etc.
  2. Data Manipulation Language (DML): It is used for accessing and manipulating databases.
  3. Data Control Language (DCL): It is used to access the saved data. It also allows to give or revoke access from a user.
  4. Transaction Control Language (TCL): It is used to run or process the modifications made by the DML.

Types of Database Management Systems

What are the different types of database management systems?

These can be broadly classified into four types. The most popular type of DBMS software include:

1- Hierarchical

A hierarchical DBMS organizes data in a tree-like arrangement, in the form of a hierarchy, either in a top-down or bottom-up design. The hierarchy is defined by a parent-child relationship, where a parent may have numerous children, but children can only have a single parent.

This type of DBMS commonly includes one-to-one and one-to-many relationships. A one-to-one relationship exists when a parent has a single child. Whereas in a one-to-many relationship, a parent has multiple children.

As data is hierarchical, it becomes a complicated network if one-to-many relationships are disrupted.

Database management system 1

Figure 1. Hierarchical Database Model (Source: DBMS Internals)

2- Network

A network DBMS is a slightly complex extension of hierarchical DBMS in which data has many-to-many relationships that appear in the form of a network. The advantages of the network database model are that records are arranged in a graph that can be accessed via numerous data paths. In this database structure, a child can have multiple parents. Therefore, it allows you to model more intricate relationships. The ability to build more relationships among different data types makes these databases more efficient.

Database Management Software 2

Figure 2. A Network Database Model (Source: The Intact One)

3- Relational

A relational model is one of the most extensively used arrangements for organizing databases. It normalizes data and organizes it as logically independent tables. You can perform operations like “Select” and “Join” on these tables. The data is stored in fixed structures and manipulated using SQL.

Shared data depicts relationships between different tables. As data in a table can reference similar data in another table, it preserves the reliability of the connections between them. This is called referential integrity, which is a critical concept in this database model.

Database management software 3

Figure 3. Example of a Relational Database Model (Source: ResearchGate)

4- Object-Oriented

The object-oriented model describes a database as a group of objects, which stores both values and operations/methods. Objects with similar values and operations are grouped as classes.

As this type of database integrates with object-oriented programming languages and utilizes an identical representation model, programmers can leverage the uniformity of a single programming environment. Object-oriented databases are compatible with various programming languages, such as Delphi, JavaScript, Python, Java, C++, Perl, Scala, and Visual Basic .NET.

database management software 4

Figure 4. An example of Object-Oriented Database Model (Source: Data Integration Glossary)

 

What is the Purpose of a Database: Advantages of a Database Management Software

Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the definition of database management and the types of DBM software, let’s move ahead and look at the benefits and functions of a database management system with examples and applications:

  • Simplified Data Sharing

One of the main advantages of DBMS is that it allows users (onsite as well as remote) to easily share the data by following the correct authorization protocols. It provides operators access to well-managed data. As a result, they can rapidly respond to variations in the environment.

By using database management software, you can yield speedy responses to impromptu queries as the data is properly managed and up-to-date. In case of any ad hoc query, the database software returns a response (known as the query result set) to the application.

  • Enhanced Data Safety

The threats of data security breaches become more pronounced when several users access the database. A database management software offers better implementation of data confidentiality and safety guidelines through controlled user access.

  • Improved Data Integration

A simple database management system facilitates an integrated view of the company’s data. The company can quickly see how activities in one division of the organization influence other divisions.

  • Better Decision-Making

One of the uses of database management software is to provide access to well-managed data, making it possible for users to make accurate and timely decisions. Data organization software offers a streamlined framework to enable data quality initiatives, improving data management procedures and yielding better-quality information.

  • Improved Efficiency

Streamlined data access software, along with the tools that convert data into valuable information, enables operators to make swift, knowledgeable decisions. This improves a database’s performance and efficiency.

Now that you are familiar with the uses of DBMS, you can tell how important it is to partner with the right database management company. Let’s move on towards the role of business database systems in some industries.

Applications of Database Management Software

What is the function of a database management system? Following are some of the applications of DBMS based in different verticals:

  • Banks: Use of DBMS in the banking sector include storing client info, account activities, disbursements, credits, and mortgages
  • Airlines: Flight bookings and scheduling info
  • Academies: Learner info, course registrations, grading, and result
  • Telecommunication: Keeping call archives, monthly bills, and retaining balances.
  • Economics and Finance: Storing data about bonds, transactions, and acquisitions of fiscal instruments, such as shares and stocks
  • Sales and Marketing: Storing data about consumers, merchandise, and sales
  • Engineering and Manufacturing: Managing supply chain and pursuing manufacturing of items and inventory statuses in storerooms
  • Human Resources: Keeping records about workers, remunerations, payroll, deduction, generating salaries, and more
  • Agriculture: Use of DBMS in agriculture include maintaining records of crops, machinery, and livestock

All of these applications of database management software are basically database management software examples, and they serve the same purpose, i.e., to help beginners understand the importance of DBMS and their use cases.

Whether you are part of a small business or a medium-large enterprise, proper data management is essential. Therefore, many organizations are not investing in different tools, which has led to steady growth in the number of free and open-source database management software. Some types of database management programs include MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, OrientDB, Cubrid, CouchDB, and more.

Who Uses DBMS: Types of Database Users

There are different database users:

  • Database Administrator: Their main task is to manage the entire database management system. Some people even hire a database management company to take over this task. 
  • Application Programmers: They write programs in different programming languages in order to interact with the database.
  • End-Users: They are the individuals who interact with the DBMS and perform different tasks on databases, such as updating, deleting, retrieving, etc.

What is Database Control?

Database control is the job of enforcing certain regulations to ensure that correct data is sent to authentic users. The three main aspects of database control are authentication, access rights, and integrity constraints.  Therefore, all data must be aligned with integrity regulation and guarded against unauthorized users. Database control is one of the main tasks of a DBA or database administrator.

A DBMS is a collection of programs that allows data to be stored in, reformed, and extracted from a database. There are several kinds of database management systems; four of the most popular database management systems are discussed in this article. The terms hierarchical, relational, object-oriented, and network all denote the way a database management software organizes data internally. The right DBMS tools are necessary to have for the maximum efficiency of database management; free database management software does not.

All in all, we now understand what database management tools are and the importance of database management for better usage of critical business data. Astera is a top data management company offering a DBMS that simplifies the way to store enterprise data with improved data security, less redundancy, and faster data access. Centerprise is not only a top database management software but a complete solution that will help your organization leverage the advantages of a data management system.

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