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Differences Between DBMS and RDBMS

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Differences Between DBMS and RDBMS

Know the differences between DBMS and RDBMS. Alongside, take a peep into the full form, definition and types of DBMS and RDBMS – all explained in the simplest of ways

DBMS (Database Management System) and RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) are both used for the storage of information in the form of physical databases.

DBMS is a combination of interrelated data and a group of programs for accessing the stored data. On the other hand, RDBMS is the type of DBMS that has been designed to take care of the inefficiencies of DBMS. Even though they may appear to be similar to common people, they have many differences to their credit.

This article will help you understand the definitions of DBMS and RDBMS. It will throw light on the definitions of both these database management systems, types of DBMS and the full forms of RDBMS AND DBMS. Take a look.

What is DBMS?

When you type in the keywords ‘dbms definition’ or ‘dbms full form’ to run a Google search, you will be greeted with several results. In the simplest terms, Database Management System or DBMS is a software designed for the sake of storing and managing data. It was introduced during the 1960s to serve the case of storing all kinds of data. DBMS is also helpful in the manipulation of stored data. It consists of different groups of interrelated data that has been arranged in an orderly manner. The stored data can be retreived by giving various logical orders.

Processes like insertion, deletion and modification of data can be carried out with flair with the help of a DBMS. A DBMS supports numerous database functions such as defining, controlling creating, revising, etc. of the database in the reckoning. Overall, it is designed to create, manage and maintain data. A DBMS goes a long way in helping individual business applications and managers extract the desired (stored) data in the most convenient of ways.

Types of DBMS

There are 4 structural types of DBMSs, these are as follows:

1. Network databases: Network databases are very useful for large digital computers. They appear like cobwebs or interconnected networks of data and records.

2. Relational databases: The data in a relational database is stored in the form of access control tables. These tables have a key field that identifies each row of stored data.

3. Object-oriented databases: Object DBMSs enhance the semantics of C++, Java and other object-oriented programming languages. They offer full-featured programming capabilities for databases even though they show native language compatibility.

4. Hierarchical databases: This DBMS is very fast and simple. Here, records contain information regarding various groups of parent/child relationships. The information is arranged in the form of a tree structure in hierarchical databases.

What is RDBMS?

Rdbms full form is Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). The rdbms definition refers to it being an advanced type of DBMS. RDBMS was first introduced during the 1970s. It allows businesses to access data more conveniently and efficiently than a normal DBMS. A RDBMS is a software system that’s put into use for storing data in the form of tables. The rows and columns of a RDBM are referred to as rows and columns. They are helpful for the management and storage of data in the data management system. Used widely across the world because of their high efficiency and utility quotients, RDBMSs are different from DBMSs in more ways than one.


The common difference existing between DBMS and RDBMS pertains to a DBMS providing a platform where it is possible to store and retrieve data-related information with the issue of redundant data being prevalent. Conversely RDBMS uses normalization for getting rid of data redundancy. Given below is a table depicting the differences between a DBMS and RDBMS.



Data is stored in a DBMS as a file.

Data is stored in a RDBMS in the form of tables.

Supports a single user.

Supports multiple users.

Data is stored either in the navigational or hierarchical formats.

RDBMS uses the tabular format where the headers form column names and the corresponding values are contained in rows.

A DBMS may not be capable of storing data by following the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) model. The result leads to the development of inconsistencies in the DBMS.

Relational databases are more difficult to construct. However, they are well-structured and more consistent than DBMSs. They obey the ACID model.  

DBSMS is a software program used for managing databases on system hard disks and computer networks.

RDBMSs are mainly used for maintaining relationships among tables.

DBMS fails to support Normalization.

Supports Normalization.

Low software / hardware necessities.

Higher software / hardware necessities.

Fails to support distributed databases.

RBMS supports distributed databases.

A DBMS adheres to about 7 Dr. E.F. Codd Rules.

A RDBMS adheres to 8 to 10 Dr. E.F. Codd Rules.

Not supportive of client-server architecture.

Supports client-server architecture.

It is common to find data redundancy in the model supported by a DBMS.

The keys and indexes in a RDBMS do not allow any scope of data redundancy.

DBMS systems deal mainly with small quantities of data.

RDMS systems are designed to take care of large quantities of data.

Data fetching becomes slower for complex and large quantities of data in a DBMS.

Rapid data fetching is possible because of the presence of the relational approach in a RDBMS.

The data in a DBMS is subject to low security levels with regards to data manipulation.

There exist multiple levels of data security in a RDBMS. The log files keep being created at the OS, Command and object levels.

Data elements have to be accessed individually.

Data elements are capable of being easily accessed by using SQL queries. Multiple data elements are also accessible at any given instance of time.  

There exists no relationship between different data elements in a DBMS.

Data is stored in the form of tables which are related to each other with the help of foreign keys.

The examples of a DBMS are Windows Registry, file systems, XMLs, etc.

Examples RDBMS are Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, etc.

DBMS fails to provide support to integrity constants. These constants cannot be imposed at the file levels.

RDBMS supports integrity constraints. The support is provided at the schema levels. The values beyond a certain range are not capable of being stored in particular RDMS columns.

As multiple copies are present in different parts of a DBMS, it becomes difficult to modify any specific file at different locations.

Because of negligible data duplication in a RDBMS, changes in data are easy to implement and store thereafter.


A Database Management System (DBMS) is basically a software used for managing and storing data while a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) serves to be an advanced version of the same. There are several differences between a RDBMS and DBMS that have been carefully tabulated above. In case we have missed out any particular difference that you know of, do drop a comment below and we will be happy to include the same at the earliest.

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