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By Dale Elizabeth Corey,
A Database Management System (DMS) is a combination of computer software, hardware, and information designed to electronically manipulate data via computer processing. Two types of database management systems are DBMS’s and FMS’s. In simple terms, a File Management System (FMS) is a Database Management System that allows access to single files or tables at a time. FMS’s accommodate flat files that have no relation to other files. The FMS was the predecessor for the Database Management System (DBMS), which allows access to multiple files or tables at a time (see Figure 1 below).
Typically, File Management Systems provide the following advantages and disadvantages:
The goals of a File Management System can be summarized as follows (Calleri, 2001):
From the point of view of an end user (or application) an FMS typically provides the following functionalities (Calleri, 2001):
Database Management Systems provide the following advantages and disadvantages:
The goals of a Database Management System can be summarized as follows (Connelly, Begg, and Strachan, 1999, pps. 54 – 60):
The components to facilitate the goals of a DBMS may include the following:
The second generation of DBMS’s were developed after 1970 when E. F. Codd proposed the relational model which replaced the hierarchical and network models. A Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) organizes the database into multiple simple tables, which are related to one another by common data fields. The third generation of DBMS’s are represented by Object-Oriented Database Management Systems (OODBMS) and Object-Relational Database Management Systems (ORDBMS). “Object-oriented DBMS takes the database idea one step further: data becomes ‘intelligent’ in that in ‘knows’ how to behave - that is, data is associated not only with
data format information but also with instructions for handling it” (Kreig, 1999). Object-Relations Database Management Systems is a combination of the RDBMS and the ORDBMS in that it extends the RDBMS to include “user-extensible type system, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, dynamic binding of methods, complex objects,
etc, and object identity (Connelly, Begg, and Strachan, 1999, pg. 811). Examples of ORDBMS’s are Informix and
From the File Management System, the Database Management System evolved. Part of the DBMS evolution was the need for a more complex database that the FMS could not support (i.e. interrelationships). Even so, there will always be a need for the File Management System as a practical tool and in support of small, flat file databases. Choosing a DBMS in support of developing databases for interrelations can be a complicated and costly task. DBMS’s are themselves evolving into another generation of object-oriented systems. The Object-Oriented Database Management System is expected to grow at a rate of 50% per year (Connelly, Begg, and Strachan, 1999, pg. 755). Object-Relational Database Management System vendors such as Oracle, Informix, and IBM have been predicted to gain a 50% larger share of the market than the RDBMS vendors. Whatever the direction, the Database Management System has gained its’ permanence as a fundamental root source of the information
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