A Beginner’s Guide to Database Management System

by Obilom Adaeze
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The database management system is applicable in almost all spheres of life. As technology advances, the need for data creation and its management increases. 

From using search engines, watching videos on TikTok, and posting on Twitter, to just playing online games, everything we do on the internet daily involves data.

This exponential increase compared to the records from a decade ago spells out a need for an organizational system that can help to keep track of all data. Here is where the database management system comes in.

Databases help to organize data. However, to protect the data’s integrity and ensure its security, databases are regulated by a system. This system that helps to manage databases is known as a database management system (DBMS).

What Database Management System is All About

A database is a collection of information/data, stored electronically in a computer. A database is regulated and organized by a database management system.

On the other hand, a database management system is the middleware used to create and manage databases. DBMS acts as an interface that gives end users access to their databases, enabling them to organize and access their data.

A database management system enables users, and database administrators, to regulate and access the data within their database. It also allows them to manage their database schema—the organizational structure of a database. 

More importantly, a database management system secures saved data from a third party. Some DBM systems help to perform automated rollbacks or restarts, logs, and audit activity within a database.

Read also: What is Cyber Security?

Features of a Database Management System 

  1. User-defined rules and constraints

Organizations can prevent authorized users from accidentally damaging the database by using referential integrity requirements. To verify data that satisfies the semantics, database management software allows users to validate conditions and comply with integrity rules.

  1. Data normalization

Data duplication occurs when a piece of data appears in different locations at the same time. If several people are sharing certain data at once, the risk of data duplication will be relatively high. Data normalization reduces the likelihood of such data duplication by reducing storage needs and speeding up access.

  1. Data retrieval

Users can submit and save their data using the database management system. Likewise, they can retrieve their saved records from the database. They can print or display them on the screen. 

However, note that only authorized users can retrieve data from the database. Unauthorised users are denied access.  

  1. Multi-user access

With a multi-user access DBMS, all information saved in the same data store becomes visible to many users. Verified users are authorized to access the database. Another special security mechanism prevents unverified users from viewing or changing certain data types. 

  1. Usage of query languages 

With a conventional DBMS, users can search for information, collect it, sort it, change it, and perform other operations on it using query languages. Structured query language (SQL) is a typical example of a query language. 

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  1. Enhanced file uniformity

Using database management systems, companies can create an orderly method for organizing files and validating data consistency with other application programs or systems. 

Modern DBMSs are usually governed and rationalized. The application software of a progressive database system makes it possible to apply the same rules to all data related to a business.

Types of Database Management Systems

  1. Hierarchical database management system 

The initial DBMS model used in databases was the hierarchical architecture. This kind of database management system groups data into a structure resembling a tree. It is used for managing data with a parent-child connection. 

Hierarchical DBMS stands out for its quick response times and effective data retrieval. However, its drawback is that it can not implement applications requiring complex data relationships.

  1. Relational database management system 

The most popular category of DBMS is the relational database management system. It employs structured query language (SQL) to access and alter data stored in the form of connected tables.

Relational DBMS is software used by businesses to store grouped data such as inventory and customer information. Owing to its simplicity and adaptability, RDBMS is the most widely used. 

Tables are used to hold data, and the relationships between them are managed through keys. Some instances of RDBMS include MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, etc.

RDBMS is the ideal option for processing well-structured data that fits neatly into a preset schema. Examples of such structured data include inventory reports, billing records, entries for medical visits, etc.

  1. Object-oriented database management system 

An object-oriented database management system stores data in approaches that mimic objects. Here, data is represented by objects and classes. A class is a group of objects. 

They can be considered as a type of relational database. This database is useful when complex data needs to be processed fast. Complex data structures can be stored in these databases. This allows developers to concentrate more on the objects rather than the underlying database structure.

Common uses of object-oriented DBMS include:

  • Managing software development’s product life cycle.
  • Processing data relationships in real time for communications.
  1. NoSQL database management system 

Design, scale, and availability are easily controlled with a NoSQL database. Both big data and real-time web apps employ this DBMS. NoSQL is useful for storing a wide range of data sets. 

It’s not a relational database as it stores data in different forms asides from tabular form. The factors below account for the growing acceptance of NoSQL databases:

  • Simple scalability.
  • Rapid development than that of SQL servers.
  • Quick and efficient management of massive amounts of data.

NoSQL databases can be subdivided into four categories which are:

  • Document-based: This database management system is the best choice for document-oriented applications because it can store data as documents (like JSON or BSON).
  • Key-value storage: Key-value stores keep data in a straightforward key-value pair, which speeds up data retrieval and lowers the overhead connected with relational databases.
  • Column-family: A column that may store a list of values is known as a column-family or wide column. When storing a lot of data that needs to be retrieved quickly, this architecture works well.
  • Graph-based: For seasoned developers and data scientists, graph databases are prepared. They keep information in the form of nodes and edges, each with a special identification. It’s used for storing vast amounts of data in a graph-like structure. For complicated data relationships, this DBMS is perfect. Moreover, social networking websites commonly make use of this database management system.

Common examples of NoSQL DBMS are MongoDB Atlas, Cassandra, Couchbase, and lots more.

Pros and Cons of a Database Management System

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Database management system.


  • Data sharing and security are improved: Thanks to database management systems, users can share data throughout an organization quickly, efficiently, and securely. A DBMS makes it possible to access more accurate data by responding quickly to database requests. End users can also shorten sales cycles and improve the accuracy of their sales prospects, including salespeople.
  • Consistent, reliable data: When matching data is found in several locations throughout an organization, data inconsistency occurs. For instance, one group may have a client’s accurate email address, while another may have their accurate phone number. You may be certain that an accurate view of the data is provided throughout your organization by utilizing an appropriate database management system and data quality tools.
  • Effective data integration: By clearly displaying how procedures in one area of the business affect other areas, the implementation of a database management system will help you create a more holistic picture of your operations. It is now possible to automate and improve upon processes that were hitherto entirely manual. The DBMS offers versatile integration options that allow for the normalization of data from various sources, eradication of duplicates, segmentation of data sets, and creation of unique workflows.
  • Improved decision-making: Decisions based on data are only as good as the data used to make them. A database management system provides a framework for activities that improve data quality. An organization’s decision-making process will be facilitated by enhanced data management practices.
  • Establishing a well-organized workplace: A well-organized working environment can be created using a DBMS. Data stored in databases can be accessed, updated, and processed with the help of a database query language like SQL. To enable access to data by third-party programs, the majority of database management systems are shipped with programs that contain Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL queries.

Read also: A Comprehensive Guide to Information Security 


  • More pricey: A database’s creation and upkeep are quite expensive. The database needs costly hardware and software. It needs to be handled by highly skilled personnel and also needs ongoing upkeep. 
  • Database error: A database contains all of the relevant data on any given business. The database must therefore function flawlessly and without any errors. A database failure can be disastrous and result in the loss or corruption of really crucial data.
  • Massive database size: In larger organizations, a database stores a lot of data. As more data is added to the database, its size rises. This results in a huge database. The greater the database, the harder it is to manage. Ensuring data consistency and user identification across large databases is likewise more difficult.
  • High complexity: A database management system is more complicated because it involves establishing, maintaining, and managing a database. As a result, a database needs to be handled by highly skilled individuals to prevent the loss of important data.
  • Difficult backup and recovery: It is challenging to determine the actual status of a database at the time of failure. Especially when multiple users are processing and managing it concurrently. This usually makes users unsure of what to do next thereby triggering more problems.

Applications of Database Management Systems 

  1. Universities

Universities store so much data in the database, such as student information, teachers and non-teaching staff information, course information, grade report information, etc. 

Each university’s information is kept secure in the database. Anyone who needs information about the student, teacher, or course can easily revert to the university’s database.

All sensitive information about the university needs to be recorded. This is because, after some years, certain information may be useful. Hence, keeping complete information in the form of a database is one of the responsibilities of a university/educational institution. 

Read also: How to Improve Cybersecurity 

  1. Banking

Another major application of a database management system is found in the banking sector. Banks record massive amounts of data since millions of people have accounts that must be properly managed. 

The database keeps track of and retains a systematic record of each user. Banking databases contain several pieces of information about account holders. This might include customer private information, asset information, transactions history, balance sheets, credit/debit card information, loans, fixed deposits, etc. 

  1. Social networking websites

Nowadays, most people have a smartphone and various social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. People communicate with their friends, families and meet new people all over the world on these apps. 

Social media comprises millions of user accounts, thus, large amounts of data must be saved and managed. This is why databases are used by social networking services to store information about users, photographs, videos, chats, and so on.

  1. Online shopping

In recent years, online shopping has grown in popularity. You can now order products on some e-commerce platforms without leaving your house. In this case, DBMS helps to save purchase information, payment, invoice bill, order status, and so on. 

Furthermore, e-commerce companies and other online platforms use DBMS to store customer data, stock, prices, etc.

  1. Medical

The medical field requires a large amount of data collection. Therefore, it is necessary to employ a database to store related data, such as details about patients, medicine, surgeon, appointment, doctor/nurse schedules, payments, invoices, and other important records. 

DBMS is beneficial to the medical industry as it enables doctors to monitor their patients well and provide better care. 

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A database management system is software that helps users create, store and manipulate data in a structural system. Different types of database management systems perform unique functions, however, they share some common features. 

These features along with DBMS applications in the modern world are spotlighted in this guide. DBMS also has several advantages and disadvantages as it is not a perfect system. Slowly study this guide to unravel the mystery behind the database management system.

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About Author

Avatar of Obilom Adaeze
Obilom Adaeze
Obilom Adaeze is an undergraduate who has passion for writing. She loves listening to music and singing in her free time. Adaeze is a curious person who enjoys discovering new information and asking questions. She is a dedicated individual who will bring her unique perspective to any task.

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