January 25, 2021

Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS – DBMS vs RDBMS

Before exploring DBMS vs RDBMS with examples, it will be more helpful to first give...

Before exploring DBMS vs RDBMS with examples, it will be more helpful to first give an overview of both these database management technologies. Later on in the blog, we will cover all the differences between DBMS and RDBMS.

In general, DBMS is a more applicable option for smaller organizations. Large corporations cannot do without RDBMS because it offers several advantages over DBMS.

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Overview of DBMS and RDBMS

DBMS and RDBMS are tasked to store and manage a collection of data. The data gets stored in the database in a structured format. This helps the database store, manage, and retrieve data very easily whenever the need arises.

Databases have proved to be an indispensable solution for all data storage requirements over the years and have since evolved to present a more robust way of data management. This is where DBMS and RDBMS came into the picture.


Database Management System (DBMS)

DBMS stands for database management systems, and it is specifically designed to store, manage, define, and retrieve data in a database. It primarily acts as an interface between the database and the end user. At the same time, the software is able to manage the data, the database engine, and the database schema, making it easy to organize and manipulate the data stored in the database.

A typical DBMS feature will include:

  • A DBMS library management system
  • A user-accessible catalog with metadata
  • Data abstraction and independence
  • Data recovery support
  • Logging and auditing of activity
  • Data security
  • Authorization access support
  • Transaction and concurrency support
  • Remote access support
  • Implementation of constraints

The DBMS features can vary greatly. DBMS makes use of system commands to carry out these functions. It first receives instructions from a database administrator, and then the instructions are sent to the system to retrieve, modify, or load data.

To increase clarity in data organization, a data schema design technique called normalization is implemented. This allows an existing schema to be modified to reduce redundancy and dependency in data as much as possible. It is achieved by splitting a table into smaller ones and establishing the relationship between them.

Popular examples of DBMS include cloud-based ones, NoSQL, columnar database management systems (CDBMS), and in-memory database management systems (IMDBMS).

Check out the difference between NoSQL and SQL in our blog on SQL vs NoSQL.


Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)

RDBMS stands for relational database management systems. It is a subset of DBMS that is specifically designed to be more sophisticated and has a degree of finesse. A relational database stores data in a structured format in the form of rows and columns. It has a tabular form that makes it convenient to locate and access specific data within the database.

The ‘relational’ in RDBMS comes from the fact that the values in a table are all related to each other. The tables may further be related to other ones. This structure enables it to run queries across multiple tables at the same time. RDBMS executes queries on data to perform operations such as adding, searching, and updating values, as well as provide visualization of data in a spreadsheet-like format.

Some popular examples of RDBMS include MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, and IBM DB2.


Comparison Between DBMS and RDBMS

For you to fully appreciate the extent of differences between DBMS and RDBMS, we have listed them as follows:

  • Structure: In DBMS, data is structured in a navigational or hierarchical form, and in RDBMS it is structured in a tabular form.
  • Software/Hardware requirements: RDBMS has more software and hardware requirements compared to DBMS.
  • Data capacity: DBMS can handle only small amounts of data, while RDBMS can work with an unlimited amount.
  • User capacity: DBMS can operate with one unit at a time. RDBMS can operate with multiple users at the same time.
  • Data fetching: Data fetching is slow in DBMS for complex data. It is fast in RDBMS.
  • Data Redundancy: In DBMS, there can be data redundancy. Whereas, due to the indexing present in RDBMS, data cannot be repeated.
  • Program management: DBMS manages databases within the system hard disks and network.RDBMS manages the relationships between the tables, as well as the values in each table.
  • Distributed databases: DBMS does not offer support for distributed databases, unlike RDBMS.
  • Client server: DBMS does not support client-server architecture, while RDBMS does.
  • ACID: In regular DBMS, the data cannot be stored based on ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability), but it is possible in RDBMS.

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Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS in Tabular Form

Create a table

Stores data in the form of a file Stores data in the form of tables
Hierarchical arrangement of data Stores data in the form of rows and columns within tables
Allows one user at a time Allows more than one user at a time
Does not use the ACID form of data storage Uses the ACID model
Manages the data in a computer Maintains the relationships of tables in a database
Not many hardware and software requirements Needs a good set of hardware and software requirements
Does not support integrity constraints Supports integrity constraints
Cannot be normalized Supports normalization
No support for distributed databases Allows distributed databases
Cannot handle large amounts of data Able to handle high amounts of data
Individual data access Easy and straightforward data access
No relationships defined for the data Defines relationships using foreign keys
Lack of data security Good data security due to several log files  


After discussing ‘What is DBMS and RDBMS?[1] ’ briefly, this blog has tried to explore the difference between DBMS and RDBMS. Although both are used to store data in physical databases, there are some critical differences between them. However, there are several software products available today, which are compatible with both DBMS and RDBMS. Learn more about DBMS and RDBMS in our SQL Community.

The post Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS – DBMS vs RDBMS appeared first on Intellipaat Blog.

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