A Database Management System (DBMS) is a system program used to create and manage a database. The DBMS gives users and the programmers a systematic approach to creating, retrieving, updating and managing data. The major capabilities of a database management system include the following:
- Data defining language
- Data dictionary
- Data manipulation language
Data definition language determines the structure and content that should be included in the database. The data dictionary is a programmed or manual document that stores up information regarding data in the database system. Some of the data stored include the names, definitions, formats, and explanations of data elements. For example, Microsoft Access contains a basic data dictionary ability that presents data about the size, type, format, and description among other features. Data dictionaries, especially for the large business databases may illustrate other types of information, including business ownership and certification among others. The data manipulation language, for example, Structured Query Language (SQL), is a special language used by the programmers to access and change data stored in the database (Dangerfield & Morris 47-56).
Why a relational DBMS is so powerful
A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a primary technique used by programmers to organize and maintain data in the data systems. A relational DBMS is often regarded as a powerful tool because of its flexibility and accessibility. It manages data into two-dimensional tables known as relations, which is usually characterized by a number of rows and columns. The dimensional table contains data regarding a business entity and its associated attributes. Each of the rows signifies a record, and each column illustrates an attribute or a field. Furthermore, each table also has a key field to distinctively identify each record for the recovery or manipulation purposes. It is easy to combine relational databases to provide the users with the data they require. However, this becomes possible if the tables use have similar data elements (Dangerfield & Morris 47-56).
Example a relational database system in use today
As mentioned earlier, programmers often use a relational database management system (RDBMS) to develop, update and manage a relational database. Most of the RDBMS employ the SQL language to get entry into the database. Most of the software applications used today in various devices and gadgets use particular database software known as Database Management System. The common products that use relational DBMS software include Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and DB2 UDB among others (Gilfillan n.d.). A typical example of the relational database system resembles the one used in healthcare settings. Often, a hospital contains several departments either within or outside the healthcare environment. The nurses and doctors that work in the hospital are assigned, several patients. Some of the Care Providers may operate in one department, while others may work in various departments on diverse days. A relational database stores data about each Care Provider, for example, their names, address, contacts, and specialty among others. Each patient is allocated one or more Care Providers. The database system also maintains specific data associated with each patient, such as their name, address, contact, medical record, a record of appointments and diagnoses among other pertinent data. Therefore, when a nurse or a doctor is allocated to a specific patient (s), it is recorded against the records of that particular patient. This ensures efficiency and swiftness in providing the required medical services (Gilfillan n.d.).
Dangerfield, Byron J., Morris John S. Relational Database Management Systems: A New Tool for Coding and Classification”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 1991, 11(5) pp.47-56
Gilfillan, Ian. Introduction to Relational Databases. Database Journal (2002). Retrieved from: https://www.databasejournal.com/sqletc/article.php/1469521/Introduction-to-Relational- Databases.htm