Overview of Database Management System (DBMS)- Meaning, Characteristics and Components

Database is a collection of related data organized in a way that data can be easily accessed, managed and updated. Any piece of information can be a data, for example name of your school. Database is actually a place where related piece of information is stored and various operations can be performed on it.

A DBMS is a software that allows creation, definition and manipulation of database. A database management system stores data in such a way that it becomes easier to retrieve, manipulate, and produce information.Here are some examples of popular DBMS, MySql, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft Access and IBM DB2 etc.


  1. Data Persistence

Data persistence means that in a DBMS all data is maintained as long as it is not deleted explicitly. The life span of data needs to be determined directly or indirectly be the user and must not be dependent on system features. Additionally data once stored in a database must not be lost. Changes of a database, which are done by a transaction, are persistent. When a transaction is finished even a system crash cannot put the data in danger.

  1. Consistency

 Consistency is a state where every relation in a database remains consistent. There exist methods and techniques, which can detect attempt of leaving database in inconsistent state. A database management system can provide greater consistency as compared to earlier forms of data storing applications like file-processing systems.

  1. Isolation of data and application

It makes data independent of application programs. That is one can add, change, and delete fields from database without affecting existing programs.

  1. Multi-user and Concurrent Access

 Sharing of the data takes place amongst the different type of the users and the applications.  Database management system supports multi-user environment and allows them to access and manipulate data in parallel mode. Sometimes it is necessary to restrict the transactions, when multiple user attempts to access the same data items; because of an unawareness of transaction processing.

  1. Multiple views

 Database management system offers multiple views for different users. A user who is in the purchase department will have a different view of database than a person working in the sales department. This feature enables the users to have a concentrate view of the database according to their requirements.

  1. Query Language

 Database management system is equipped with query language, which makes it more efficient to retrieve and manipulate data. A user can apply as many and as different filtering options as required to retrieve a set of data. Traditionally it was not possible where file-processing system was used.

  1. Real-world entity

 A recent Database management system is more realistic and uses real-world entities to design its architecture. It uses the behaviour and attributes too. For example, a school database may use students as an entity and their age as an attribute.

  1. Relation-based tables

 Database management system allows entities and relations among them to form tables. A user can understand the architecture of a database just by looking at the table names.

  1. Reduce Redundancy

Database management system follows the rules of normalization, which splits a      relation when any of its attributes is having redundancy in values. Normalization is a mathematically rich and scientific process that reduces data redundancy.

  1. Security

Not all users of the system have the same accessing privileges.  DBMS should provide a security subsystem to create and control the user accounts.

Components of DBMS
A database management system (DBMS) consists of several components. Each component plays very important role in the database management system environment. The major components of database management system are:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Data
  • Procedures
  • Users
  • Software

The main component of a DBMS is the software. It is the set of programs used to handle the database and to control and manage the overall computerized database. DBMS software itself, is the most important software component in the overall system.

  • Hardware

Consists of a set of physical electronic devices such as computers, I/O devices, storage devices, etc., this provides the interface between computers and the real world systems.

  • Data
    DBMS exists to collect, store, process and access data, the most important component. The database contains both the actual or operational data and the metadata.
  • Procedures

Procedures refer to the instructions and rules that help to design the database and to use the DBMS. The users that operate and manage the DBMS require documented procedures on hot use or run the database management system. These may include.
Procedure to install the new DBMS.
To log on to the DBMS.
To use the DBMS or application program.
To make backup copies of database.
To change the structure of database.
To generate the reports of data retrieved from database.

  • Users

The users are the people who manage the databases and perform different operations on the databases in the database system. There are three kinds of people who play different roles in database system

  • Application Programmers
  • Database Administrators
  • End-Users

Application Programmers
The people who write application programs in programming languages (such as Visual Basic, Java, or C++) to interact with databases are called Application Programmer.
Database Administrators 
A person who is responsible for managing the overall database management system is called database administrator or simply DBA.
The end-users are the people who interact with database management system to perform different operations on database such as retrieving, updating, inserting, deleting data etc.

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