What is a DBMS? Basic Concepts Explained | CIO Insight (2023)

Database management systems allow us to organize our data to easily find the information we need when we need it, even if the data doesn’t have any sort of order on its own. These systems are essential tools in today’s technological world, powering large and small businesses alike with their ability to store data and retrieve it when needed.

Table of Contents

What is a DBMS?

A database management system (DBMS) is software that provides methods to create, manage, and access a large volume of data. These applications help automate processes such as adding new entries, modifying existing entries, and deleting entries when necessary.

Database management systems also serve to help users find information more quickly and efficiently. Users no longer need to spend time looking through hundreds of documents one at a time—they can now see what they’re looking for with just a few clicks.

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How does a database management system work?

The primary function of a database management system is to provide users with access to stored data. Therefore, a DBMS must allow users to add new information, modify existing information, and delete old data.

In addition, a DBMS must ensure that only authorized users have access to any given piece of information. For a DBMS to perform these functions, it needs structure and organization that allows users to retrieve specific types of data based on certain criteria.

For example, if users wanted all accounts associated with customers who live in New York City, they could simply enter “New York” into a search field and return all matching records from the table. Once a database has been organized according to the organization’s specific needs, developers can begin creating applications around it.

What are the basic concepts and features of DBMS?

The fundamental concepts and features of a DBMS include data models, query languages, file organization and indexing, normalization, candidate keys, and key fields.

Data models

A data model is an abstract representation of a database system. It is used to design and implement a database or define its schema—the structure and organization of how data is physically stored.

Data models are designed using a methodology called conceptual modeling. However, most data models are based on at least one formal model, such as entity-relationship modeling.

Query languages

Just as programming languages are used to create software applications, DBMSs have their own specific languages which database administrators use to create databases. They’re generally called query languages, and they allow users to search and manipulate data stored in databases. The most commonly used query language is structured query language (SQL).

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SQL is the standard language for database management and there are five widely used SQL sub-languages, they include:

Other query languages include NoSQL and XQuery. Each query language has its own syntax and capabilities, but they all follow similar principles. Each allows you to retrieve data from a database table or view, modify it if necessary, add new records to an existing table or view, and remove unwanted records.

File organization and indexing

Database file organization is required for better storage space utilization, reduction in access time, and faster retrieval.

The two levels of database files are index files and data files. Index files contain indexing structures that define data locations for faster retrieval when searching for specific records within a table structure. Indexing structures in DBMS include B-tree and other types of balanced trees, hash tables, bitmaps, etc. Data files store both fixed-length records and variable-length records.


Normalization is a process that eliminates redundant data and ensures that relationships between different records in a database make sense. Normalizing data in a database involves breaking down related tables into multiple tables based on business rules. Breaking up related tables into separate entities allows us to store data in more efficient ways while also helping to ensure consistency across multiple tables. This separation also makes updates easier and more reliable.

Normalization is an important part of designing database schemas because it helps to prevent data redundancy and avoidable issues like database corruption. Additionally, it helps make databases easier to update and improves query performance.

Candidate key

In a Relational database, the candidate key is a condition for defining a relationship between two or more tables. The candidate keys must be included in each table that refers to them. A candidate key is generally composed of unique attributes and contains values that never change during data storage. They help define groups.

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Key fields

A key field or primary key is a unique identifier for each row in a database table. A table can only have one, and a primary key must be unique across all tables and views. Primary keys are sometimes called natural keys or auto-incrementing fields. The value in a primary key is automatically incremented by 1 for every new record added to that table.

Types of DBMS models

The most common types of database management systems include relational, distributed, hierarchical, client-server, and network models.

Relational model

The relational database management system (RDBMS) is a database model that organizes data in tables. Each table consists of rows and columns with cells containing data items, also called fields.

An RDBMS provides facilities for defining, storing, retrieving, and modifying structured information. Structured data can be stored in multiple ways, such as lists, files, or documents; however, it is often stored within an RDBMS as a collection of interrelated tables.

Distributed model

​​A distributed database is a collection of logically linked databases that appear to users as a single, integrated database. The information within these individual databases may be physically stored in different locations across a network, but it seems part of one unified whole.

This allows for greater flexibility and scalability when dealing with large amounts of data. Distributed database management systems allow multiple computers or nodes to access shared data simultaneously, often over a common network. Each node can update its copy of data while other nodes have access to all copies at once.

Hierarchical model

A hierarchical database is a type of database in which each record has a set of fields and values organized into levels and sub-levels. Hierarchical databases store information by separating it into related groups called sets.

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The highest level, also known as the root, contains all available information. As you move down to lower levels, more specific subsets appear. The number of records at each level reflects the amount of detail about each item.

Client-server model

A client-server database is a particular model wherein the database resides on a server, and users access it from their workstations. This configuration allows for multiple users to access data simultaneously and means that there are fewer servers for companies to maintain.

It’s important to note that a client-server database can be centralized or decentralized. Centralized systems have all information stored in one place, while decentralized systems allow different parts of an organization to keep their databases separate.

Network model

A network database model is based on a network data model that allows each record to have multiple parents and multiple child records. Network databases enable users to build a flexible model in which entities can be related in many different ways.

Business benefits of DBMS

A DBMS can help organizations achieve greater efficiency in their operations by more effectively managing data across multiple applications, including different departments within an organization. Database management systems also help companies avoid information redundancy by consolidating various sources of data. The better a company can manage its data, the more easily it can adapt to changing market conditions and make well-informed business decisions.

Data storage and management are critical aspects of any business operation. Therefore, businesses need effective tools for storing and managing the data they can use across all facets of their organization. With a robust DBMS, companies have more control over how they store, access, share, and secure data; as a result, they benefit from increased organizational productivity while reducing costs related to IT infrastructure maintenance.

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What are the concepts of DBMS explain? ›

A database management system (or DBMS) is essentially nothing more than a computerized data-keeping system. Users of the system are given facilities to perform several kinds of operations on such a system for either manipulation of the data in the database or the management of the database structure itself.

What is DBMS and explain its types? ›

There are three main types of DBMS data models: relational, network, and hierarchical. Relational data model: Data is organized as logically independent tables. Network data model: All entities are organized in graphical representations. Hierarchical data model: Data is organized into a tree-like structure.

How many basic concepts are there for DBMS? ›

ACID Properties − DBMS follows the concepts of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (normally shortened as ACID). These concepts are applied on transactions, which manipulate data in a database.

What is database concepts explain with example? ›

A database is a systematic collection of data. They support electronic storage and manipulation of data. Databases make data management easy. Let us discuss a database example: An online telephone directory uses a database to store data of people, phone numbers, and other contact details.

Why is DBMS important? ›

With DBMS, businesses can increase their access to data and help end users throughout the organizations share the data. As a result, these end users can deliver faster sales and make quicker decisions as they have access to the exact data they need.

What is DBMS and its structure? ›

Note: Structure of Database Management System is also referred to as Overall System Structure or Database Architecture but it is different from the tier architecture of Database. The database system is divided into three components: Query Processor, Storage Manager, and Disk Storage.

What are the 4 types of DBMS? ›

Types of DBMS
  • Relational database.
  • Object oriented database.
  • Hierarchical database.
  • Network database.
3 Jul 2021

What is application of DBMS? ›

DBMS is most useful to these companies to store the call details and monthly postpaid bills. Credit card transactions − The purchase of items and transactions of credit cards are made possible only by DBMS. A credit card holder has to know the importance of their information that all are secured through DBMS.

What are the objectives of DBMS? ›

The objectives of DBMS can be narrated as follows:
  • Eliminate redundant data.
  • Make access to the data easy for the user.
  • Provide for mass storage of relevant data. ...
  • Protect the data from physical harm and un-authorised systems.
  • Allow for growth in the data base system.

What is a database concept? ›

It can also be defined as a collection of interrelated data stored together to serve multiple applications, the data is stored so that it is independent of programs that use the data. A generic and controlled approach is used to add new data and modify and retrieve existing data within the database.

Who gave the concept of DBMS? ›

The first DBMS was developed in the early 1960s when Charles Bachman created a navigational DBMS known as the Integrated Data Store.

What is DBMS and its advantages? ›

A Database Management System (DBMS) is defined as the software system that allows users to define, create, maintain and control access to the database. DBMS makes it possible for end users to create, read, update and delete data in database. It is a layer between programs and data.

Where DBMS can be used? ›

  • Railway Reservation System – ...
  • Library Management System – ...
  • Banking – ...
  • Education Sector – ...
  • Credit card exchanges – ...
  • Social Media Sites – ...
  • Broadcast communications – ...
  • Account –
21 Mar 2022

What are the 3 users of DBMS? ›

Classification of Users
  • End Users.
  • Application Programmers.
  • Database Administrator.
3 Jul 2021

What are the 3 main types of databases? ›

hierarchical database systems. network database systems. object-oriented database systems.

Why DBMS is introduced? ›

DBMS provides an interface to perform various operations like database creation, storing data in it, updating data, creating a table in the database and a lot more. It provides protection and security to the database. In the case of multiple users, it also maintains data consistency.

What is the first name of DBMS? ›

DBMS stands for Database management system. DBMS is the software which is used to manage databases. For example, MySQL, Oracle etc, are popular commercial DBMSs used in different applications.

What basic concept means? ›

Basic Concepts refer to those words, terms and prepositions which assist us in the perception and description of the world. These concepts are usually learned as an integral part of the process of language acquisition within the framework of the home, kindergarten and school.

What are the importance of concepts? ›

The use of concepts is necessary to cognitive processes such as categorization, memory, decision making, learning, and inference. Concepts are thought to be stored in long term cortical memory, in contrast to episodic memory of the particular objects and events which they abstract, which are stored in hippocampus.

What are the four basic concepts? ›

Four Basic Concepts: Culture, Ideology, Language, the Symbolic.

What are the concepts of database? ›

It can also be defined as a collection of interrelated data stored together to serve multiple applications, the data is stored so that it is independent of programs that use the data. A generic and controlled approach is used to add new data and modify and retrieve existing data within the database.

What are the applications of DBMS? ›

  • Railway Reservation System – ...
  • Library Management System – ...
  • Banking – ...
  • Education Sector – ...
  • Credit card exchanges – ...
  • Social Media Sites – ...
  • Broadcast communications – ...
  • Account –
21 Mar 2022

What are the 4 parts of a database? ›

The five major components of a database are hardware, software, data, procedure, and database access language.


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