What is a DBMS?

Database Management System (DBMS) is the software we use to create and manage databases.

The DBMS acts as an interface between the database and end users as well as applications to capture, store, organize, analyze, access and manage data. (Phew ... that's a tall order! 😵)

Here's an image to illustrate what a DBMS does.

What is a DBMS? Image courtesy: EduPointBD

Examples of DBMS include MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MongoDB.

What are the types of DBMS?

The most popular type of DBMS is the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), which supports the relational data model and is used to manage relational databases. Examples of RDBMS include MySQL, SQLServer, Oracle and more.

Data stored in RDBMS follows four basic functions known as CRUD (Create Read Update Delete) and is accessed using SQL (Structured Query Language).

RDBMS have a predefined schema and they store data in a consistent format. They’re also reliable and ensure data integrity and security.

However, RDBMS solutions aren’t cheap.

There are also other types of DBMS.


The NoSQL DBMS refer to data models that don’t have a rigid schema and are used to manage and update large sets of complex data. They’re generally classified into four categories:

  • Document DBMS
  • Key-value DBMS
  • Wide column DBMS
  • Graph DBMS

Examples of NoSQL DBMS are MongoDB, DynamoDB, Cassandra and AllegroGraph, among others.

2. In-memory DBMS

The in-memory DBMS store data inside the memory, instead of storing it in a disk. This has some incredible advantages:

  • Better performance
  • Reduced latency and overhead
  • Less copy operations
  • Faster access to data

Examples include Tarantool, Apache Ignite, SAP HANA and Redis.

3. Columnar DBMS

The columnar DBMS store data in columns instead of rows.They organize data in a highly compressed manner, which boosts performance.

Columnar DBMS are ideal for data warehouses and big data processing, which require highly complex queries to quickly access petabytes of data.

Examples include Actian Vector and MonetDB.

4. Cloud-based DBMS

A cloud-based DBMS offers a database service that is built and accessed via a cloud computing platform.

Cloud based DBMS are maintained by DBaaS (Database-as-a-service) providers who install and maintain databases on the cloud for a fee.

Examples include Amazon Relational Database Service, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud Bigtable.

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See also

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