Database Management System

To overcome all drawbacks of the file processing system, a new system called Database Management System is developed. All the files in the file processing system are known as tables in the database. The contents of files form records of the table. In the database, each column values are known as attributes, and each row of information is known as a record. There no difference in the data being stored. But it is different from the file system by the way data is stored and accessed in the database.

In the database, each set of information is stored in the form of rows and columns. We define a unique key column for each record known as the primary key. Using the primary key, we can access the data much faster than the file system. We can also define a mapping between any two related tables. This helps in reducing unnecessary data storage and faster retrieval of data.

Below is an example of how the data is stored in the database tables logically.

Database Management System
Database Management System

How do we access these data from the database? For this purpose, the database defines a collection of programs that allows the users to insert, delete, update, and retrieve the data from the database based on the user’s requirement. These sets of programs are known as database management system – DBMS. Apart from basic transactions, it allows the users to perform complex transactions; it helps to maintain consistency, atomicity, security, and control concurrency.   Oracle, MySQL, SQL Servers, DB2, FoxPro, dBase, etc are some of the DBMS available in the market. Though they are manufactured by different manufacturers, basic functionalities of all of them are the same.

Advantages of DBMS

Database Management System is developed to cover the drawbacks of the traditional file system.

    1. Data Mapping and Access: – DBMS defines the way to map any two related tables by means of primary key –foreign key relationship. The primary key is the column in the table which responsible for uniquely identifying each record in the table. A foreign key is a column in the table which is a primary key in another table and with which the entries in the current table are related to other tables. For example, in the new database system, we can Student and Student_Report table as follows.Database Mapping AccessSTUDENT_ID is the unique using which we can identify each student and hence it forms a primary key in the STUDENT table. Similarly, REPORT_ID is the primary key in the STUDENT_REPORT table. STUDENT_ID in the STUDENT_REPORT table is the foreign key. It links the STUDENT and STUDENT_REPORT tables.Because of such mapping, it becomes each for the programmer to search for related tables, join them, and fire the query as per the requirement. This reduces the time consumed while searching and mapping these tables. Even when there is a large amount of data, the time consumed to retrieve, insert, update, or delete is very less. Hence there is no data isolation in the system.

      Note: The mapping of tables is usually done when they are created.

    2. Data Redundancy: – By the introduction of the primary key in the table, the data redundancy problem is reduced to a great extent. As we saw, the primary key is the unique column for each record, when there is a re-entry of the same record, it does not allow saving such records.DBMS has strong designing techniques like normalization which makes sure the same copy of data is not stored in the same table or in multiple tables. It makes sure all the information is stored only once in the database tables.We can see the difference in the way data is being stored in the file and database system. Primary key, foreign keys are defined; unnecessary columns are removed from the STUDENT_REPORT table in the database system. These are missing in the file processing system.

Advantages of DBMS

  1. Data Independence and Consistency: – DBMS defines a standard to represent the data in the form of rows and columns. It also stores the information about the tables, columns, keys, storage space, used space, available space, etc separately from the logical data. Hence they totally independent of the way they are stored and the data being stored. Any changes to the physical storage (like disks, tapes, etc) or structure, does not harm the data being stored. Since DBMS defines each column and rows at the beginning itself and controls the way data is entered, there is no effect on the programs or any other tables or data. Hence the consistency of the data also maintained. If there is a change in the address of any student, we just have to update it in the Student table. There is no other place his information is being stored. Hence it maintains consistent data in the database.Suppose there is a new column added to the STUDENT table, say DOB. This will change the metadata to reflect an additional column in the table structure. It will hardly affect the application unless there is a new requirement to have transactions with DOB. Hence data independence is also assured in the database.
  2. Security: – DBMS allows different levels of access to different users based on their roles. In the school database, individual students will have access to their data alone, while their teachers will have access to all the students whom they are teaching and for the subjects that they are teaching. The class teacher will be able to see the reports of all the students in that class, but not other classes. Similarly, in a banking system, the individual account holders will have Read-Only access to their accounts. While an accountant can update, individual account details for each of their transaction.All these levels of security and access are not allowed in the file system.
  3. Integrity: – Database Management System allows having restrictions on individual columns. It would be defined while designing the table itself. If we want to enter the salary of an employee within the range 10000 to 40000, we can impose this while designing the table by using CHECK constraint. When the salary is entered, it will automatically check for the range specified. CREATE TABLE EMPLOYEE ……….. CONSTRAINT chk_salary CHECK (salary>10000 AND salary <40000)
  4. Atomicity: – DBMS makes sure either the transaction is fully complete or it is rolled back to the previously committed state. It does not allow the system to be in a partially committed state. In our example above, DBMS commits mark change transaction before calculating the total. If there is any crash or shutdown of the system, before committing the marks, then updated marks will be rolled back to the original marks. Hence it makes sure the atomicity of the transaction is achieved.
  5. Concurrent Access: – DBMS provides access to multiple users to access the database at the same time. It has its own mechanism to have concurrency accesses and hence avoid any incorrect data in the system.

Disadvantages of DBMS

  1. It is a bit complex. Since it supports multiple functionalities to give the user the best, the underlying software has become complex. The designers and developers should have thorough knowledge about the software to get the most out of it.
  2. Because of its complexity and functionality, it uses a large amount of memory. It also needs a large memory to run efficiently.
  3. DBMS system works on the centralized system, i.e.; all the users from all over the world access this database. Hence any failure of the DBMS will impact all the users.
  4. Database Management System is generalized software, i.e.; it is written work on the entire systems rather specific one. Hence some of the applications will run slow.


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