What does database management system (DBMS) mean?
A database management system (DBMS) is a software package designed to define, manipulate, retrieve and manage data in a database. A DBMS generally manipulates the data itself, data format, field names, record structure and file structure. It also defines rules for validating and manipulating this data.
Database management systems are built on specific data processing concepts as the practice of administering a database evolves. Early databases only handled individual items of specially formatted data. Today’s more advanced systems can handle different types of less formatted data and tie them together in more elaborate ways.
Techopedia Explains Database Management System (DBMS)
Over time, models of database management systems have evolved considerably. This is key to understanding how the different DBMS options work.
The first types of database management systems consisted mainly of hierarchy and network models.
- The hierarchy model is where each node or component has a child/parent relationship with another node or component.
- In the network modelthe difference is that a single component can have multiple relationships – think of this as a single node that can “multicast” connections.
However, over time, these models have been superseded by what is called a relational database. In the relational database model, individual components have attributes that are tied to their identities through a database table design. The rows and columns of an individual database table include these identities and attributes so that traditional structured query language or SQL can be used to extract various types of information about these relational patterns.
Since then, an even newer concept has emerged called NoSQL. Experts suggest that the best way to understand NoSQL is to translate it as “not just SQL”, or in other words, to use NoSQL broadly to describe systems that go beyond traditional database models. SQL and relational data.
It’s also important to note that NoSQL is a much more abstract term than the traditional “relational database.” In a sense, NoSQL is “not relational,” at least in the traditional sense. An important type of NoSQL DBMS is called the object-oriented database model. Here, instead of being composed of relational tables, database systems use object designs to work with the identities and attributes discussed above.
Some of the design considerations for NoSQL databases involve the degree of data normalization or structuring that occurs, and how the database system handles this. Engineers should also look at data consistency and resolution tools across the system, to promote uniformity and resolve various correlation issues.
Other types of DBMS models include a graph database model, where graph models are used for semantic queries, and an entity-relational model. These offer other alternatives to traditional relational database design.
Some of the newer DBMS types can be used where a data center may have a wide disparity of differently formatted or relatively unformatted or “raw” data to work with, where records are not conventionally normalized. These advancements and other types of advancements have made the DBMS world more complex and have increased the value of experienced database engineers and administrators for modern systems.
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