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What is a Database Management System?

By David White
Updated May 16, 2024
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A database management system is a suite of software applications that together make it possible for people or businesses to store, modify, and extract information from a database. Sound like something found only in bank vaults? It's not. You can find these systems in many places in your everyday life.

That ATM that you get cash out of every week is a database management system. When you make flight reservations online, you're providing information that is entered into such a system. Even the library that you or your children check out books from runs on one.

On a more personal level, your personal computer can have its own database management system. You might have spreadsheets that contain mountains of data. Any time you fill up a spreadsheet with data and run queries to find and analyze data in different ways, you are accessing such a system.

And how do you view the data that is the result of a query? By looking at a report. Most systems have a reporting function that is the last step in the data manipulation process. After all, collating the data without looking at it won't get you very far.

One of the main functions of the database management system is doing the heavy lifting for you. In other words, you don't necessarily have to know exactly where all that data is in the system; as long as the system knows where it all is, it can deliver a report for you to peruse. This might not seem to matter if you're thinking of just your computer, but throw in a mainframe that contains reams and reams of data, and we're talking about a huge amount of information that can be stored any number of places within the mainframe system. The result is the same, though: a report that you can read, analyze, and act on.

This functionality also extends to a multi-user database. Such a system under this scenario would allow you as one user to operate all functions within the database without having to know what other users are accessing the same database. One popular example of this kind of multi-user database is Microsoft SQL Server.

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Discussion Comments

By anon304703 — On Nov 21, 2012

What are the advantages of databases in everyday life?

By anon169067 — On Apr 19, 2011

please give different types of applications available.

By anon128884 — On Nov 21, 2010

what are reports and forms in dbms and what are their uses?

By anon91287 — On Jun 21, 2010

can you give me the advantages and disadvantages of a database management system?

By anon83351 — On May 10, 2010

Please send a database documentation sample.

By anon78903 — On Apr 20, 2010

i am associated with an NGO, where i am managing data, i have just started and i want to learn how can we make analysis and statistics from the data received.

By anon77076 — On Apr 13, 2010

can you tell me the difference between DBMS and RDBMS?

By anon77074 — On Apr 13, 2010

Advantage of dbms----

1.Redundancy of data

2.Inconsistency of data

3.Data sharing

4.Enforcements of standards

5.security

6.Integrity maintained

Disadvantages of Dbms----

1.High cost

2.difficult to store and backup

By anon69576 — On Mar 09, 2010

It's because the technology is changing and advancing in that there are no jobs in uganda where they do not need computer literates so people have to defend their jobs through going back for further education.

Second, today many people are doing or having more than one job so in order to mange the jobs someone has to go back to get more skills and even the competition is high.

third, many people in big offices were employed on friendly basis but now it's the papers that speak and if you realize you lack papers then the only alternative is to go back and study.

By anon44850 — On Sep 11, 2009

Why do most of the workers leave their jobs and go back to school to further their studies? Is it because of technology that keeps on changing?

By Amena — On Mar 20, 2009

Please state some advantages and disadvantages of database management system.

By azie — On Jan 30, 2009

can you give me advantages and disadvantages of Database Management System?

can you give me functions. facilities and components of Database Management System?

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