Broadly, there are basically two types of Database management systems (DBMS) users and we can also simply say that database user. We can call them actors on the scene and the workers behind the scene.
So let’s see both of them one by one in brief.
Actors on the Scene (types of DBMS users )
For a small personal database one person typically defines, constructs, and manipulates the database, and there is no sharing.
However, in large organizations, many people are involved in the design, use, and maintenance of a large database with hundreds of users.
Actors on the scene are the people whose jobs involve the day-to-day use of a large database.
1) Database Administrators
In any organization where many people use the same resources, there is a need for a chief administrator to oversee and manage the resources.
In a database environment, the primary resource is the database itself, and the secondary resource is the DBMS and related software.
Administering these resources is the responsibility of the database administrator (DBA).
The DBA Is responsible for authorizing access to the database, coordinating and monitoring its use, and acquiring software and hardware resources as needed.
The DBA is accountable for problems such as breach of security or poor system response time.
In large organizations, the DBA is assisted by a staff that carries out these functions.
Database designers are responsible for identifying the data to be stored in the data base and for choosing appropriate structures to represent and store this data.
These tasks are mostly undertaken before the database is actually implemented and populated with data.
It is the responsibility of database designers to communicate with all prospective database users in order to understand their requirements and to create a design that meets these requirements.
In many cases, the designers are on the staff of the DBA and may be assigned other staff responsibilities after the database design is completed.
Database designers typically interact with each potential group of users and develop views of the database that meet the data and processing requirements of these groups. Each view is then analyzed and integrated with the views of other user groups.
The final database design must be capable of supporting the requirements of all user groups.
End users are the people whose jobs require access to the database for querying, updating, and generating reports the database primarily exists for their use.
There are several categories of end users:
1) Casual end users:
Casual end users occasionally access the database, but they may need different information each time.
They use a sophisticated database query language to specify their requests and are typically middle or high level managers or other occasional browsers.
Casual users learn only a few facilities that they may use repeatedly.
2) Naive or parametric end users
Naive or parametric end users make up a sizable portion of database end users.
Their main job function revolves around constantly querying and updating the database, using standard types of queries and updates called canned transactions that have been carefully programmed and tested.
Naive end users need to learn very little about the facilities provided by the DBMS.
They simply have to understand the user interfaces of the standard transactions designed and implemented for their use.
The tasks that such users perform are varied:
- Bank tellers check account balances and post withdrawals and deposits.
- Reservation clerks for airlines, hotels, and car rental companies check availability for a given request and make reservations.
3) Sophisticated end users
Sophisticated end users include engineers, scientists, business analysts, and others who thoroughly familiarize themselves with the facilities of the DBMS in order to implement their applications to meet their complex requirements.
Sophisticated users try to learn most of the DBMS facilities in order to achieve their complex requirements.
4) Standalone end users
Standalone end-users maintain personal databases by using readymade program packages that provide easy-to-use menu-based or graphics-based interfaces.
Standalone users typically become very proficient in using a specific software package.
An example is the user of a tax package that stores a variety of personal financial data for tax purposes.
5) System Analysts and Application Programmers (Software Engineers)
System analysts determine the requirements of end-users, especially naive and parametric end users, and develop specifications for canned transactions that meet these requirements.
Application programmers implement these specifications as programs, then they test, debug, document, and maintain these canned transactions.
Such analysts and programmers commonly referred to as software developers or software engineers.
They should be familiar with the full range of capabilities provided by the DBMS to accomplish their tasks.
Workers behind the Scene (types of DBMS users)
Workers behind the scene are the people who work to maintain the database system environment but who are not actively interested in the database itself.
In other words, we can say that those who design, use, and administer a database, others are associated with the design, development, and operation of the DBMS software and system environment are known as workers behind the scene.
These persons are typically not interested in the database itself.
1) DBMS system designers and implementers
DBMS system designers and implementers design and implement the DBMS modules and interfaces as a software package.
A DBMS is a very complex software system that consists of many components, or modules, including modules for implementing the catalog, processing query language, processing the interface, accessing and buffering data, controlling concurrency, and handling data recovery and security.
The DBMS must interface with other system software such as the operating system and compilers for various programming languages.
2) Tool developers
Tool developers design and implement tools the software packages that facilitate database modelling and design, database system design, and improved performance.
Tools are optional packages that are often purchased separately.
They include packages for database design, performance monitoring, natural language or graphical interfaces, prototyping, simulation, and test data generation.
In many cases, independent software vendors develop and market these tools.
3) Operators and maintenance personnel:
Operators and maintenance personnel (system administration personnel) are responsible for the actual running and maintenance of the hardware and software environment for the database system.
Although these categories of workers behind the scene are instrumental in making the database system available to end-users, they typically do not use the database for their own purposes.
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