What Is DBMS? (Types, Benefits And RDBMS Vs DBMS)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A database management system (DBMS) is a software program that helps organisations optimise, store, retrieve and manage data in a database. It works as an interface between the database and end-user to ensure data is well organised and easily accessible. If you want to enter the field of software development, knowing more about DBMS can help you excel in your career. In this article, we answer, “What is DBMS?” and explore its types and advantages and explain the difference between DBMS and RDBMS.

Related: What Are the Different Database Types?

What is DBMS?

A DBMS is a software application program designed to create and manage databases for storing information. Using a DBMS, a developer or programmer can define, create, retrieve, update and manipulate data in a database. It manipulates the data format, field name, file structure, data and record structure. Apart from managing databases, a DBMS provides a centralised view of the data accessible to different users and different locations. As the DBMS handles all data requests, the users do not worry about the physical location of data or the type of media in which it resides.

Components of a DBMS

A DBMS has several components, such as:

  • Data: DBMS allows data access and helps an end-user perform various functions on the data.

  • Database access language: End-users use the database access language to access the data to and from the database. A DBMS performs many functions such as updating existing data, adding new data and retrieving required data from the database.

  • Query language: Databases require query languages to issue commands. Structured query language (SQL) is one such database language for operating a DBMS.

  • Management resources: For running a database, a DBMS requires a database manager and run-time database manager. The database managers help maintain the data without a run-time requirement, whereas a run-time database manager performs an issued query.

  • Query processing: Query processing is at the core of DBMS because queries tell the DBMS what to do with the data. The DBMS processes the query issued by the coding language and responds by performing the command on data.

Related: What Is SQL? Definition And Benefits

Benefits of DBMS

Apart from helping in storing and managing data, a DBMS is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Reduces data redundancy: Data redundancy occurs when end-users use the same data in different locations. Using a DBMS, a user can store data in a centralised place, which reduces the requirement of saving the same data in many locations.

  • Ensures data security: A DBMS ensures that only authorised people have access to specific data. Instead of giving all users access to all the data, a DBMS allows you to define who can access what.

  • Eliminates data inconsistency: As data gets stored in a single repository, changing one application does not affect the other applications using the same set of details.

  • Ensures data sharing: Using a database management system, users can securely share data with multiple users. As DBMS has a locking technology, it prevents data from being shared by two people using the same application at the same time.

  • Maintains data integrity: A DBMS can have multiple databases, making data integrity essential for digital businesses. When a database has consistent information across databases, end-users can leverage its advantages.

  • Ensures data recovery: Every DBMS ensures backup and recovery and end-users do not manually backup data. Having a consistent data backup helps to recover data quickly.

  • Low maintenance cost: The initial expense for setting up a DBMS is high, but its maintenance cost is low.

  • Saves time: Using a DBMS, a software developer can develop applications much faster.

  • Allows multiple user interfaces: A DBMS allows different user interfaces as application program interface and graphical user interface.

Types of DBMS

Here are the four types of DBMS:

1. Hierarchical database management system

A hierarchical database is one in which all data elements have one-to-many relationships. This DBMS uses a tree-like structure to organise data and create relationships between different data points. The storage of data points is like a folder structure in your computer system and follows a parent-child fashion hierarchy where the root node connects the child node to the parent node.

In a hierarchical DBMS, data gets stored such that each field contains only one value and every individual record has a single parent. All the records contain the data of their parent and children. An advantage of using this DBMS is that it is easily accessible and users can update it frequently. Here are a few advantages of using a hierarchical DBMS:


This DBMS is like a tree. It allows an end-user to define the relationship between data and records in advance. In a hierarchical database, users can add and delete records with ease. Often, this database is good for hierarchies like inventory in a plant, employees in an organisation. Users can access the top of the data with great speed.

2. Relational database management system

A relational database management system (RDBMS) stores data in tables using columns and rows. The name comes from the way data get stored in multiple and related tables. Each row in the table represents a record and each column represents an attribute. It allows a user to create, update and administer a relational database.

SQL is a common language used for reading, updating, creating and deleting data from the RDBMS. This model uses the concept of normalising data in the rows and columns of the table. Here are a few advantages of using a relational DBMS:


A DBMS that consists of rows and columns is much easier to understand. It allows effective segmentation of data that makes data management and retrieval much more accessible and simpler. Users can manage information from tables, using which you can extract and link data. In an RDBMS, users achieve data independence because it stores data in tables. It also provides better recovery and backup options.

Related: What Is the Difference Between DBMS & RDBMS? (With Examples)

3. Network database management system

A network DBMS can model all records and data based on parent-child relationships. A network model organises data in graphic representations, which a user can access through several paths. A network database that allows more complex relationships and allows every child to have multiple parents. The database looks like an interconnected network of records. It organises data in many-to-many relationships. Here are a few advantages of using a network DBMS:


As this model can effectively handle one-to-many and many-to-many relationships, the network model finds wide usage across different industries. Also, a network model ensures data integrity because no user can exist without an owner. Many medical databases use the network DBMS because a doctor may have a duty in different wards and can take care of many patients.

4. Object-oriented database management system

The object-oriented database management system (OODBMS) can store data as objects and classes. An object represents an item like a name, phone number, while a class represents a group or collection of objects. An object-oriented DBMS is a type of relational database. Users prefer using this database when they have a large amount of complex data that require quick processing. This DBMS works well with different object-oriented programming languages.

Applications developed using object-oriented programming require less code and make use of more natural data modelling. Also, this database helps reduce the amount of database maintenance required. Here are a few advantages of using object-oriented DBMS:


An object-oriented DBMS combines the principles of database management and object-oriented principles to provide a robust and much more helpful DBMS than conventional DBMS. Interestingly, OODBMS allows creating new data types from existing types. Another advantage why many developers and programmers widely use OODBMS is the capability of this DBMS to store different data, such as pictures, video and numbers.

How is a DBMS different from an RDBMS?

An RDBMS structures data into logically independent tables and allows users to perform various functions on a relational database. A DBMS differs from an RDBMS in the following ways:

  • User capacity: A DBMS manages one user at a time, whereas an RDBMS can manage multiple users.

  • Structure: In a DBMS, the structuring of data is hierarchical, whereas, in an RDBMS, it follows a tabular structure.

  • Programs managed: A DBMS manages databases within the hard disk and computer network, whereas an RDBMS manages relationships between data in the tables.

  • Data capacity: A DBMS can manage only a small amount of data, whereas an RDBMS can manage a large amount of data. As a result, businesses with large and complex data prefer using an RDBMS over a DBMS.

  • Distributed databases: A DBMS cannot support distributed database, whereas an RDBMS provides support to a distributed database.

Related: Top 14 RDBMS Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Explore more articles