As one of the oldest components associated with computers, the database management system, or DBMS, is a computer software program that is designed as the means of managing all databases that are currently installed on a system hard drive or network. Different types of database management systems exist, with some of them designed for the oversight and proper control of databases that are configured for specific purposes.
As the tool that is employed in the broad practice of managing databases, the DBMS is marketed in many forms. Some of the more popular examples of these solutions include Microsoft Access, FileMaker, DB2, and Oracle. All these products provide for the creation of a series of rights or privileges that can be associated with a specific user. This means that it is possible to designate one or more database administrators who may control each function, as well as provide other users with various levels of administration rights. This flexibility makes the task of using DBMS methods to oversee a system something that can be centrally controlled, or allocated to several different people.
There are four essential elements that are found with just about every example of DBMS currently on the market. The first is the implementation of a modeling language that serves to define the language of each database that is hosted via the system. There are several approaches currently in use, with hierarchical, network, relational, and object examples. Essentially, the modeling language ensures the ability of the databases to communicate with the DBMS and thus operate on the system.
Second, data structures also are administered by the DBMS. Examples of data that are organized by this function are individual profiles or records, files, fields and their definitions, and objects such as visual media. Data structures are what allows these systems to interact with the data without causing damage to the integrity of the data itself.
A third component of DBMS software is the data query language. This element is involved in maintaining the security of the database, by monitoring the use of login data, the assignment of access rights and privileges, and the definition of the criteria that must be employed to add data to the system. The data query language works with the data structures to make sure it is harder to input irrelevant data into any of the databases in use on the system.
Last, a mechanism that allows for transactions is an essential basic for any DBMS. This helps to allow multiple and concurrent access to the database by multiple users, prevents the manipulation of one record by two users at the same time, and preventing the creation of duplicate records.