Database management systems or DBMS have existed for decades, assisting companies in maintaining and utilizing databases. In this day and age, we have cloud substitutes and distributed file systems such as Hadoop, however, relational databases and DBMS like MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server will always find their use in thousands of companies. Learning how to use these systems is essential for many jobs and doing various tasks, thus proving helpful for employees of all levels when working in any DBMS such as Microsoft Access, IBM DB2, or Oracle Database. Let’s check what DBMS are and why they are so important to businesses.
What is Database Management Systems?
DBMS can be simply defined as software that allows users to create and manage databases. Notably, databases are fundamentally collections of inter-related or independent data that can be organized in the form of tables, reports, console logs, views, or schemas. The first DBMS was designed by Charles Bachman in 1960 but the concept of relational databases was introduced in 1970 by Edgar F. Codd and applied in IBM’s Information Management System.
The primary concern of these systems is to allow users to conduct CRUD (create, read, update and delete) functions and other actions on data. These systems offer user administration and data control features while also enabling multiple users to retrieve, define or update databases parallelly from different systems. Indisputably, DBMS serves as an interface or medium between databases and end-users or other applications.
An example of a military DBMS would be a system maintaining the database containing information about army personnel, ammunition, weapons, vehicles, rations, etc. In this kind of database, there would be individual files for each department containing data about each soldier, vehicle, gun, etc.
Like in every other DBMS, there would be three kinds of users. First, there are application programmers who are in charge of the backend, integration with other programs, and other aspects of the system. Then there are database administrators who are responsible for the management of this system and end-users or other members of the organization.
Further, there are four types of databases, including hierarchical, network, relational and object-oriented. When speaking of systems, there are again four different types of data or information management systems. The first concept was of the navigational DBMS, however, it found its use only for some time with systems such as IBM’s Information Management System or the powerful Integrated Data Store system. The reason behind navigational DBMS and languages such as COBOL falling behind is the heavy influence of relational DBMS (RDBMS) and relational databases.
Notably, RDBMS is the most common database management system alongside integrated database management systems (earlier Teradata versions or IBM System/38). Object-oriented DBMS and NoSQL Database Management Systems are the other two examples. Nowadays, most RDBMS systems use SQL or Standard Query Language to perform actions inside the database. However, there are new SQL and NoSQL approaches as well when working with some DBMS. Regardless of SQL being a primary requirement of these systems, programmers can also use other languages when designing interfaces or integrating DBMS with other programs.
Here are some examples of the data manipulation and data definition language that is used in most DBMS
What do Database Management Systems do?
Database management systems have four primary functions. Let’s check them out.
- Data Definition
These systems or software allow users to create, modify, and remove definitions that organize the data inside databases. Data definition is one of the core necessities when managing databases as this serves as an interface between users and datasets.
- Data Updation
DBMS enables data to be inserted, modified, and deleted in databases. This is another necessary function that allows data to be manipulated, renamed, or replaced as required, without which users will have no control over the static data. These systems also log every change made to data so that database administrators can track changes.
- Data Retrieval
This is another feature of these systems that allow users to retrieve data as required. This function can be used for manual retrieval or allowing applications to recover and use this data as needed.
- User Administration
DBMS allows administrators to register users, enforce data control and security, monitor users and performance, maintain the integrity of data, backup data, recover data and deal with database failures or corrupted data.
Here are some applications of DBMS in different sectors:
- Finance: DBMS are used for storing sales, clients, transactions, purchases, stock, and other financial information.
- Education: These kinds of software help universities and schools store and manage data about their students, courses, grades, events, and attendance.
- Stores and Retail: For managing inventory, product information, brand information, and payment and customer details, DBMS are used.
- Banking: For storing account information, payment information, loans, credit information, deposit information, and customer data, DBMS is employed.
- Marketing: For storing customer, product, and survey data, DBMS works well.
- Manufacturing and Production: DBMS allows companies to track production, performance, inventories, warehouse supplies, and manage the supply chain.
- Telecommunication: Call logs, duration records, monthly bills, and maintenance of balance can be recorded through this software.
- HR: DBMS allows HR departments and managers to store employee information, salary data, payroll information, time tables, and attendance sheets.
- Airlines: Flight information, pilot schedules, plane schedules, and attendant information can be accessed through DBMS.
- Hotels and Restaurants: Reservations and customer information is traced easily through DBMS.
Top 7 Database Management Systems
Here are the seven best database management systems that are used by businesses across the globe:
- Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access is one of the most popular database management systems in the world. Microsoft offers Access as a DBMS that is great for personal use and sole business owners. Access uses the relational Microsoft Jet Database with a GUI or graphical user interface. This DBMS also features application development tools. Access is a part of Microsoft 365 and works extremely well with other applications from the suite.
MySQL is one of the best open-source DBMS systems out there. It completely revolves around SQL and is a relational database management system. MySQL works with operating systems to implement relational databases in system storage. It also allows network access and other functions such as user management.
PostgreSQL is another open-source RDBMS that emphasizes extensibility and SQL compliance. It is highly popular among universities and institute-commissioned projects.
- Oracle Database
Oracle DBMS is a multi-model database management system that was developed by Oracle Corporation to run databases for online transaction processing and data warehousing. This is the best choice for mixed workloads. This DBMS is available on-site, on the cloud and as hybrid installations. Oracle’s system runs on third-party servers or through its servers.
- IBM DB2
IBM’s DB2 is one of the best DBMS ecosystems that has seen plenty of upgrades. DB2 was initially based on relational databases but later on, started supporting object-oriented and integration concepts as well. DB2 supports non-relation structures such as XML and JSON as well. IBM DB2 is best suited for large-scale enterprises.
MariaDB is an extension of MySQL and is also open-source in nature. MariaDB was community-developed and is intended to remain free under the General Public License. MariaDB is great for working with websites and using data during server-side functions of web applications.
- Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is another relational database management system offered by Microsoft. It is a great database server that has new editions coming out every year. Microsoft SQL Server is especially useful for large-scale internet loads and a lot of parallel users.
Difference Between DBMS And Other File Management Systems
Here are some common differences between DBMS systems and other file management solutions:
- DBMS allows multiple users to access databases while other traditional systems do not support many users.
- These systems are designed to fulfill the requirements of large businesses while other file systems can only work with smaller databases.
- DBMS is more expensive but can be cost-effective in the long run. Traditional file management systems are cheaper initially or even open-source, however, they can get expensive when working with large amounts of data.
- These kinds of software are built for removing redundancy and maintaining integrity. DBMS are also more secure and controllable. Other file management solutions have integrity and redundancy issues, they are also not secure enough.
- It is easy to implement complex transactions and advanced integrations with programs. There is no support for complex integrations and functions in normal file management systems.
Here are some additional advantages of using DBMS:
- They offer various methods of storing and retrieving data.
- These tools provide uniform administration formats for data hosting.
- This kind of software maintains security and integrity. They allow data governance.
- DBMS act as a great handler or medium when multiple applications or users are using the same data. This is done without the risk of data corruption or database failure.
- The software allows user management and access constraints.
- There is reduced application deployment time.
- Programmers do not need to have access to databases in order to work on the DBMS system during application integration.
In conclusion, DBMS is highly effective for managing databases and offers enormous support to organizations that work with plenty of data and multiple employees. DBMS offers an easy, effective and secure way of allowing employees across the organization to efficiently use data for their respective tasks. Languages such as SQL can prove highly useful when working with these systems and should be highly focused upon.