What Is DBMS - Definition, Types, and Applications

Deyan Georgiev
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Jul 19, 2022


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Owning a web platform or a big company leads to a build-up of information. Sooner or later, it becomes too cumbersome to work with manually. That’s where a DBMS could help you, but what is DBMS?

What Is a DBMS?

DBMS or Database Management System is a piece of software that automates many processes related to database keeping. It allows for the creation, recording, and retrieval of data.

What Is a Database?

A database is a system that collects and stores data electronically. Employee records, inventory, transaction history–all of this can be easily stored and retrieved from electronic records. The concept of a database has been around since the 1970s.

If you want to learn more, you can visit our article on web databases.

Types of DBMS

There are many types of DBMS. Each store and relate data in different ways. Here are some of the most common types.


In a hierarchical model, database management is established on a parent-child configuration. You can imagine it as a pyramid, where everything on the bottom directly relates to what’s above it. 

Here’s an example. You own a car repair shop, so the shop is the top parent in your database. Employees and clients are both related to the shop; they’re its children and placed beneath it. The clients’ cars, required services, and contact data directly relate to the client. Thus they become its children and are placed beneath it in the hierarchy.

Hierarchical database


In relational databases, database management is based on identifier keys, which connect data over separate tables. The car repair shop example can be achieved in this way. 

Creating three different tables–the first holds an identification number, clients’ names, and emails. The second contains an identification number, clients’ car models, and the required services. The third holds an identification number, an employee's name, and the services they perform.

If we want the client's name, the model of their car, the employee who serviced it, and the service it receives, we correlate the three tables based on the key identifier.

Relational database


In network databases, database management is quite similar to hierarchical with the difference that parents share children. 

In the explanation of the hierarchical model, we detailed that clients’ cars are children of the client. But employees also have access to the cars. So, instead of building a new table to relate employees to vehicles, we can connect them. This saves both memory and processing power.

network database

Object-Oriented Database

In object-oriented databases, the system is organized using OOP (object-oriented programming) practices, and the database management follows the same principles. Each of its elements is an object. This means that it carries information and the code to record, retrieve, and manipulate data.

In our example, the tables are replaced with objects. The employee's object holds the names of all workers and their current tasks. It also contains the methods “getEmployee()” and “addEmployee(employee)” which fetch the data of the chosen individual, or they add a new person to the table.

Object-Oriented Database

NoSQL Databases

NoSQL is a practice that includes four different database management models. Key-Value, Document, Graph, and Column Family. The main difference between NoSQL and SQL is that the first doesn’t rely on a relational model

Its advantages are its simple implementation, big data capabilities, structured and unstructured data storage, and easy replication.

Now that we know the answer to the question: what is DBMS? It’s time to choose appropriate software. Here’s a list of DBMS, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is the world’s most-popular DBMS. Its inclusion in the Microsoft 365 suite has only helped increase its popularity.


  • Large amounts of data – MS Access can operate seamlessly with large amounts of data.
  • Comprehensive GUI – The program offers an easy-to-use GUI, which makes database management achievable even without knowledge of SQL.
  • Access Limitations – MS Access allows you to set permissions for all users. The database's security is significantly improved by limiting access to information and data manipulation.
  • High Compatibility – The program can access data from SQL Server, Azure SQL, and Access Data Project. This means that both small and big companies can fully utilize it.
  • Easy Maintenance – Compared to its competitors, MS Access is easy to install and maintain. This significantly lowers expenditures on server maintenance.


  • File size Limitations – MS Access database files are limited to 2GB. This means that if you’re planning on working with huge databases, this may not be the choice for you.
  • Lacking Backwards Compatibility – After upgrading to a newer version, there’s a chance that your data will no longer be usable.
  • Database Instability – If your company uses different versions of Windows or a non-Microsoft-related OS, the data may become corrupted.
  • Slow Performance – All of the data is saved on one file. This significantly slows down extraction and modification. It also adds to the file size limitation.
  • Security Concerns – Natively, MS Access doesn’t implement complex security protocols.


Oracle is one of the oldest players when it comes to database management. How much have they evolved?


  • Online BackupOracle offers online backup for your databases. If something goes wrong, you can quickly restore everything without significant setbacks.
  • Backward CompatibilityDBMS programs are sensitive to major changes. Oracle offers its clients timely warnings about potential problems with future updates. They ensure backward compatibility for all of your data.
  • Cursor Support – The ability to do row-by-row manipulations is always appreciated.
  • Large Data Performance – Even with vast amounts of data, performance rarely suffers.
  • Supports OLTP – Online transactional processing is a crucial element to the operation of many financial institutions.


  • Cost – A glance at the Oracle price list shows that its cost is noticeably higher than most competitors.
  • Complexity – To install and maintain the databases, employees need specialized training.
  • Incomprehensive Documentation – The official Oracle documentation is a maze of references that tend to be quite confusing or sometimes even wrong.
  • Unix – The database practically demands the UNIX operating system. Using it on any Linux distros or mainstream OS is a complicated and sometimes impossible process.
  • Ludicrous Size – The DB system requires upwards of 50GB, up to 100GB of memory to work. Even though you would usually run Oracle on a dedicated server, it may still be an annoyance.


MariaDB is an open-source DBMS. This means that you know exactly what it does and how it achieves it. Performance with no nasty surprises. But what does this DB application have to offer?


  • SQL and NoSQL Compatible – As far as DB management goes, nothing is better than choice. MariaDB allows the implementation of SQL and NoSQL code in the same database.
  • Quality Caching – Caching is the temporary storage of recently-used data. MariaDB’s caching algorithms are optimized to lower disk usage as much as possible.
  • Optimized Queries – Disk usage is further reduced by optimizing join operations, subqueries, derived tables, and other disk-heavy tasks.
  • Open-Source Flexibility – MariaDB’s open-source nature allows it to be easily modified. This means that you can either use one of the available plugins or write in-house code.
  • High-Level Security – The countless contributors to the MariaDB project have managed to secure many of its potential vulnerabilities. It implements Transport Layer Security encryption, protection against SQL injections, multiple authentication passwords, and 2-factor authentication.


  • Confusing GUI – Some of the elements of the GUI may be difficult for newcomers.
  • Energy-Reliant – An electrical blackout may corrupt your data.
  • OS Compatibility – The list of supported operating systems leaves a lot to be desired.
  • No Debugging – MariaDB lacks tools for debugging procedures and functions.
  • Complex Queries – It doesn’t correctly handle long SQL queries.


If you’re looking for a cloud-based database management solution, this may be the product for you.


  • Versatility – MongoDB offers many useful functions. It supports transactional, search, analytics, and mobile use cases. 
  • Universal Accessibility – Since the platform is entirely cloud-based, it can be accessed anywhere. Perfect for companies with home-office options.
  • Universal Data Storage – This allows you to effortlessly implement images, audio, videos, and other media in your database.
  • Simplified Catalog – Any asset or entity can be easily added to MongoDB together with its corresponding metadata.
  • Real-Time Analytics – In a matter of seconds, you can receive collated, sorted statistical information on your data.


  • Memory Usage – MongoDB tends to consume more memory than other DBMS.
  • Data Size – A single document cannot exceed 16MB.
  • Data Loss – If you experience problems during table updates, you may lose a significant portion of your data.
  • Lacking Security – Any paid plan under the Enterprise level leaves a lot to be desired as far as security is concerned.
  • No Join – Since MongoDB isn't a relational database, it cannot perform joins.


Redis is another open-source database management solution. It’s written in ANSI C and is prominently tested on Linux.


  • Transaction Support – Redis allows for the execution of sequential commands without interruptions.
  • Lua Scripting – Redis includes an embedded Lua interpreter. This allows for the easy execution of server-side scripts.
  • Timed Keys – This DBMS software offers keys with a limited lifespan. Once exceeded, the key is automatically deleted.
  • Atomic Operations – You may freely append to a string, push an element to a list, increment the value in a hash, and more.
  • Asynchronous Replication – You have very fast non-blocking first synchronization and auto reconnection with partial resynchronization on net split at your disposal.


  • Memory Limit – Operations are limited by available physical memory.
  • Data LossData is shared based on the hash-slots assigned to each Master. If the Master is down, the database information will be lost.
  • No Clustering Solutions – Clustering solutions must be developed in-house.
  • No Windows Support – Redis is oriented towards Linux-based systems. This means that there’s no official support for Windows users.
  • Memory Fragmentation – Manipulating or deleting vast amounts of data may lead to a significant drop in performance.

If you want to learn more about database software, you may check out this article.

Application of DBMS

We have learned about different types of DBMS, but where are they used? How are they implemented?


DBMS applications have found a comfortable place in the world of telephony. The simplest example is your phone bill. The record of outgoing and incoming calls, and their duration, is stored in a database. Then it’s collected and the bill is calculated for the month.

Other uses in telecommunications include the Home Location Register – which keeps a list of authorized SIM cards. It also includes the Visitor Location Register – which handles temporary network users.


Oracle’s database solutions are the choice of the world’s top 10 banks. That’s because they come with extensive transaction support, which is implemented in ATMs and online banking. The uninterrupted execution of these services significantly lowers the chances of errors.


In manufacturing, database management systems keep track of inventory, resources, and orders. Besides that, the easy integration of MS Access databases in Windows-native programs allows for the production of simple in-house software.


If you have ever looked at a bus schedule or an airport’s arrivals and departures, you have a good idea of what DBMS applications are used for. Besides that, they track vehicle conditions, maintenance, and usage data.

Everywhere Else 

A university’s curriculum, students, and employees are all stored on a data management system. When you click on an offer on a real-estate site, it’s populated by a database. When you search for something on Google, the autocomplete feature is a database of the most common terms. They’re everywhere!

Pros and Cons of DBMS

No creation of man is perfect, but that doesn’t mean DBMS don’t have their good sides.


  • Integrity – Nothing in a database can be added without the user’s explicit order. Only declared data types may be added.
  • Searching DBMS applications offer various tools for extracting data – from a simple one-table query to multi-database requests.
  • Security – Your data is protected from unauthorized access.
  • Keeping to Standards – Currencies, dates, numerical, and every other data is kept in a single standard through the entire database.
  • BackupsData can be easily saved to a local/remote device and retrieved when needed.


  • Cost – Using a DBMS application brings expenditures for hardware, trained staff, and licensing.
  • Software AgingSoftware companies usually update their products. Some of these updates may restrict access to the database or corrupt it.
  • Energy Reliance – In case of a blackout, all digitally recorded data becomes inaccessible.
  • Complexity – Many DBMS products require specialized training to be utilized.
  • Security Threat – If the system’s security is circumvented, all your data is exposed – user credentials, personal employee info, source code, and anything else on the system.


Database Management Systems are a valuable tool for both small and large companies. They can automatize a large part of the workaround data collection, keeping, and extraction. That’s why they’re used in various industries. Still, the centralized system leaves sensitive data vulnerable if security is compromised.


What is DBMS easy definition?

DBMS or Database Management System is a piece of software that automates many processes related to database keeping. It allows for the creation, recording, and retrieval of data.

Why is DBMS Important?

Answering the question of what is DBMS, we looked at examples of its use. From manufacturers to transport companies to banks – all use database management software.

The current world of information exchange requires rapidly collected and transported data. Call logs, bank account transfers, ordering food through the internet are all handled by DBMS. In short, they have become an integral part of modern society.

What is the Architecture of DBMS?

DBMS architecture relates to how information is stored and accessed. It can be centralized, decentralized, or hierarchical. Multi-tier database architecture offers data abstraction and different access levels depending on the user’s privileges.



Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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