What is database management system (DBMS)

Database management system (DBMS) is software which is used to manage the database.

A database management system (DBMS) is a collection of programs that enables users to create and maintain a database.

A typical DBMS provides multiple facilities to access a database.

The DBMS is a general-purpose software system that facilitates the processes of defining, constructing, manipulating, and sharing databases among various users and applications.

Defining a database involves specifying the data types, structures, and constraints of the data to be stored in the database.

The database definition or descriptive information is also stored in the database in the form of a database catalog or dictionary, this catalog or dictionary is called meta-data.

Important Points on Database Management System (DBMS)

Constructing the database is the process of storing the data on some storage medium that is controlled by the DBMS.

Manipulating a database includes functions such as querying the database to retrieve specific data, updating the database to reflect changes in the mini world, and generating reports from the data. Sharing a database allows multiple users and programs to access the database simultaneously.

An application program accesses the database by sending queries or requests for data to the DBMS. A query typically causes some data to be retrieved; a transaction may cause some data to be read and some data to be written into the database.

Database Management System (DBMS) includes protecting the database and maintaining it over a long period of time.

Protection includes system protection against hardware or software malfunction (or crashes) and security protection against unauthorized or malicious access.

A typical large database may have a life cycle of many years, so the DBMS must be able to maintain the database system by allowing the system to evolve as requirements change over time.

To complete our initial definitions, we will call the database and DBMS software together with a database system. The below illustration shows the basic database management system environment.

database management system (DBMS) environment


It is not necessary to use general-purpose DBMS software to implement a computerized database.

We could write our own set of programs to create and maintain the database, in effect creating our own special-purpose DBMS software.

In either case, whether we use a general-purpose DBMS or not-we usually have to deploy a considerable amount of complex software.

In fact, most DBMSs are very complex software systems.

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