Mastering Database Management

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Introduction to Databases

Characteristics of DBMS

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 A modern database has the following characteristics

  • Real world entity:
    • A modern DBMS is more realistic and uses real-world entities to design its architecture. It uses the behavior and attributes too. For example, a school database may use students as an entity and their age as an attribute.
  • Relation based Tables:
    • DBMS allows entities and relations among them to form tables. A user can understand the architecture of a database just by looking at the table names.
  • Isolation of data and application:
    • A database system is entirely different than its data. A database is an active entity, whereas data is said to be passive, on which the database works and organizes. DBMS also stores metadata, which is data about data, to ease its own process.
    • A user is accessing data should not affect other users actions.
  • Less Redundancy:
    • DBMS follows the rules of normalization, which splits a relation when any of its attributes is having redundancy in values. Normalization is a mathematically rich and scientific process that reduces data redundancy.
    • Same piece of data should not be present at two different places.
  • Consistency:
    • Consistency is a state where every relation in a database remains consistent. There exist methods and techniques, which can detect attempt of leaving database in inconsistent state. A DBMS can provide greater consistency as compared to earlier forms of data storing applications like file-processing systems.
    • Any data written to the database must be valid according to all defined rules.
  • Multiuser and Concurrent Access:
    • DBMS supports multi-user environment and allows them to access and manipulate data in parallel. Though there are restrictions on transactions when users attempt to handle the same data item, but users are always unaware of them.
  • Multiple views:
    • DBMS offers multiple views for different users. A user who is in the Sales department will have a different view of database than a person working in the Production department. This feature enables the users to have a concentrate view of the database according to their requirements.
  • Security:
    • Features like multiple views offer security to some extent where users are unable to access data of other users and departments.
    • DBMS offers methods to impose constraints while entering data into the database and retrieving the same at a later stage.
    • For example, a user in the Sales department cannot see the data that belongs to the Purchase department. Additionally, it can also be managed how much data of the Sales department should be displayed to the user. Since a DBMS is not saved on the disk as traditional file systems, it is very hard for miscreants to break the code.