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

By | 2019-10-21T06:33:39+00:00 October 21st, 2019|

What Is a DBMS?

A Database Management Software (DBMS) is used for storing, manipulating, and managing data, such as format, names of fields, and record and file structures in a database. Users can construct their own databases using a DBMS to satisfy their business requirements.

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.

A database management software offers data independence, as the storage mechanism and formats can be changed without altering the entire application within the database.

Some common examples of DBMSs include: MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, IBM DB2, and FoxPro.

Main Features of a DBMS

Some of the significant features of a DBMS include:

·       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.

·       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. This streamlines data management and manipulation because the same rules can be applied to all the data throughout the organization.

·       Multi-User Environment Support

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

Types of Database Management Systems

Database management software can be broadly classified into four types:

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.

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

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 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.

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

Relational

A relational model is one of the most extensively used arrangements of 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.

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

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.

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

What is a Database Management Software Used For?

Before we explore some applications of a DBMS, let’s look at some of its key benefits:

  • Simplified Data Sharing

A DBMS 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 a DBMS, 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 management 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 DBMS stimulates 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

A database management system provides access to well-managed data, making it possible for users to make accurate and timely decisions. It offers a streamlined framework to enable data quality initiatives, improving data management procedures and yielding better-quality information.

  • Improved Efficiency

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

Main Applications of a Database Management Software

Following are some of the applications of a DBMS based in different verticals:

  • Banks: 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, merchandises, 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

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 which are discussed in this article. The terms hierarchical, relational, object-oriented, and network all denote the way a database management software organizes data internally.

All in all, a DBMS offers a simplified way to store enterprise data with improved data security, less redundancy, and faster data access.