When data is stored in Database Systems, it can be stored in any format. Data can be presented in either a structured or unstructured format. The complex combination of structured and unstructured data sets is known as Big Data. Due to the 3V’s (Volume, Velocity, Variety) of Big Data, traditional technologies and methods can’t be used to analyze them. Database Systems have been developed to address the issues of Big Data also.

This article elaborates on what is Database Systems, discusses their characteristics, talks about the various languages; Databases use, and also explains the types of Database Systems. Read along to understand how Database Systems work.

What is Database Systems or DBMS?

You might have heard of the term “Database Systems” repeated many times on the web.

But, what is Database Systems or DBMS?

Database Systems or DBMS is software that caters to the collection of electronic and digital records to extract useful information and store that information is known as Database Systems/ Database Management Systems or DBMS. The purpose of a standard database is to store and retrieve data. Databases, such as Standard Relational Databases, are specifically designed to store and process structured data.

Generally, Databases have a table to store data, they use Structured Query Language (SQL) to access the data from these tables. Databases and Database Systems play a vital role in processing hard, fast and diverse datasets. Without a Database Management System, businesses won’t receive valuable insights and deep analytics.

In the Database environment, data is accessed, modified, controlled, and then presented into a well-organized form, allowing the business corporations to execute multiple data-processing operations. The data is usually organized in the form of rows and columns to minimize the workload pressure and achieve accurate results instantly.

Different types of data that can be stored, processed, or retrieved in Database Management System include numerical, time series, textual and binary data.

The figure below highlights what is Database Systems and how they are used to monitor and collect data from multiple sources to gather valuable business insights from them:

Database Systems Diagram
Image Source
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9 Key Characteristics of Database Systems

By now, you are fairly clear on the idea of what is Database Systems. Let’s now have a look at the many characteristics that make them suitable for handling multiple data sources and also helping in Data Analytics to gather valuable business insights. The key characteristics of Database Systems are given below:

1) Less Duplication

Database Systems provides a specific identity number for each entry. By having a specific ID number for all entries, users won’t experience duplication errors and issues.   

2) Limited Redundancy

Undoubtedly, there are high chances of data repetition as multiple users use the same version/ software of a Database to store their files. To avoid large chances of redundancy, a DBMS offers a single data repository and various Data Mapping functionalities. 

3) Ease of Use

There’s no need to get noble experience or technical skills to use a DBMS. The reason is all these tools contain a smooth and easy-to-use interface. Whether you’re familiar with programming languages or not, you can easily use queries to insert, update, delete or search records in Database Systems.

4) Multiple Layouts and Presentations

Database Systems has different layouts and presentation formats through which one can easily select knowledge and language options, according to his/her expertise. Some Databases contain translating options that allow you to move from one layout to another without making any change in the integrity of data.

5) Reduces Storage Space

Public and private companies use Database Systems to save a massive amount of data, files, documents, media, audio and video extensions. Companies need a lot of space to store these assets, but DBMS provides proper integration, helping users to reduce space as compared to traditional systems. This functionality permits enterprises to save cost as well.

6) Data Security

Security of data is the foremost and essential need for companies as hacking is common in this digital world. DBMS is accessible to all users, employees, clients, thus different policies, and rules must be implemented to restrict multiple windows.

While keeping this in mind, Database Systems are built with tenacious security functions that allow companies to protect confidential information. Enterprises deploy policies to restrict access for particular users, letting them minimize security breaches and insiders attacks.

7) Data Recovery and Backup Plan

Nowadays, Database Systems are coming up with data recovery and backup options. Companies know that intentional and unintentional events can occur at any time. For instance, in some cases employees remove data accidentally, developers delete or discard manufacturing and production tables.

Consequently, DBMS are embedded with Data Recovery options and a Backup Plan to avoid such incidents. They work like a permanent storage plan in which it is impossible to eradicate data.

8) Maintaining Integrity

Database Systems contain schemas, primary and secondary key options that permit companies, especially E-Commerce and inventory stores, to maintain integrity, consistency and concurrency of data. 

9) Improvised Efficiency

With functions and tools of DBMS, raw information gets converted into valuable statistics. Companies use these statistics to make a wise and quick decision in a Real-Time environment. It advances the Database’s performance and efficiency of the system.

In order to learn more about the features/characteristics of Database Systems, click this link.

Languages Supported by Database Systems

Database Systems comprise of specific languages that are used by operators, programmers and end-users to interact with Database queries and updates. There are generally 4 types of Database Languages:

1) Data Definition Language (DDL)

It is also called Data Description Language and is used to describe data structures, create and modify data. SQL commands and statements like Create, Alter, Drop, Truncate, Rename, and Comment are used to form the pattern of the Database. 

2) Data Control Language (DCL)

DCL commands include Revoke and Grant used to retrieve previously stored and saved data. The syntax of DCL commands is similar to programming languages. These statements play an essential role to describe the ‘‘Rights & Permissions’’ across the Database system. 

3) Data Manipulation Language (DML)

DML commands include Select, Insert, Update, Delete, Merge and Call. These are used to access and manipulate data in the Database. These statements are commonly meant for handling user requests. 

4) Transactional Control Language (TCL)

TCL is used to handle all the transactions within Database Systems. TCL commands include Commit, Rollback and SavePoint. 

The figure below depicts all the languages in a DBMS along with their commands:

DBMS Language Types and their Commands
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Database Systems Language Examples

  • SQL: SQL unifies data definition, data manipulation, and querying in a single language. It was one of the earliest commercial languages for the relational paradigm, albeit it differs in some ways from Codd’s description (for example, rows and columns in a table can be sorted). 
  • OQL: It is an object model language standard (developed by the Object Data Management Group). It inspired the design of various subsequent query languages, such as JDOQL and EJB QL.
  • XQuery: XQuery is a standard XML query language that is supported by XML database systems like MarkLogic and eXist, relational databases with XML capabilities like Oracle and Db2, and in-memory XML processors like Saxon.

Features of Database Language

  • Computations that affect query results include summing, averaging, counting, grouping, sorting, and cross-referencing.
  • Constraint enforcement (for example, in an automobile database, only one engine type is allowed per car).
  • The query language is available in an application programming interface format for the benefit of programmers.

Types of Database Systems

There are 4 mainly types of Database Systems:

Hierarchical Database System

The Hierarchical Database System follows a tree-like procedure to present the data. It arranges data in either Top-Down or Down-Up flow and defines the flow through the parent-child relationship.

The Hierarchical Database System includes two types of relationships; One-to-One and One-to-Many relationship. A parent can have only one child in a One-to-One relationship, whereas a parent can have more than one child in a One-to-Many relationship. 

Some of the popular Hierarchical Database Systems include IBM Information Management Systems (IMS), Windows Registry, RDM Mobile, XML, and XAML.

The figure below depicts the Hierarchical Database System:

Hierarchical Database System Model
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2) Network Database System

The Network Database System enables users to build Many-to-Many relationships due to which it is more complicated and intricated than the other types of DBMS. It is feasible for users to access data from the Network Database System as data is arranged in a graphical format and can be acquired through different data routes.

By having a Many-to-Many relationship, a child can have more than one parent and vice versa. In this way, multiple relationships can be built in a Network Database System, permitting enterprises to achieve efficiency.

Some of the popular Network Database Systems include Integrated Database Management System (IDMS), Raima Database Manager, TurboIMAGE, Integrated Data Store (IDS) and Univac DMS-1100.

The given figure below depicts the Network Database System:

Network Database System Model
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3) Relational Database System

In the Database field, the Relational Database System is one of the most extensive and complicated ones. It allows developers and programmers to normalize data and organize information as rationally independent tables.

Connections are made by using ‘‘Select’’ and ‘‘Join’’ options. The concept of referential integrity is used in Relational Database Systems to preserve the reliability of the connection between different tables.  

Some of the popular Relational Database Systems include DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server, Microsoft Access & SQL Server, RDB and Oracle.

The figure below depicts the Relational Database System:

Relational Database System Model
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4) Object-Oriented Database System

In an Object-Oriented Database System, diverse programming languages, such as Perl, Scala, .NET, Java, Python, JavaScript, Delphi, Visual Basic and C++, are used by programmers to build relationships between variables and establish schemas.

Some of the popular Object-Oriented Database Systems include Cache, ConceptBase.cc, Db4o (Database 4 objects).

The figure below depicts the Object-Oriented Database System:

Object Oriented Database Model
Image Source

5) NoSQL Database System

A NoSQL, or nonrelational database, can store and manage unstructured and semistructured data (unlike a relational database, which specifies how all data added into the database must be structured). NoSQL databases gained popularity as web applications became more widespread and complicated.

Read more about the difference between Relational and NoSQL Database systems here.

6) Cloud Database System

A cloud database is a collection of structured or unstructured data stored on a public, private, or hybrid cloud platform. Cloud database models are classified into two types: traditional and database as a service (DBaaS). DBaaS allows a service provider to handle administrative responsibilities and maintenance.

Components of a Database Management System

A DBMS is a complicated piece of system software made up of several connected components that provide a consistent, organized environment for creating, reading, and updating data in databases. These components consist of the following:

  • Storage engine: This fundamental component of a DBMS is utilized to save data. To store data, the DBMS must communicate with an OS-level file system. It can employ extra components to store data or interact with actual data at the file system level.
  • Metadata catalog: A metadata catalog, also known as a system catalog or a database dictionary, is a repository for all the database objects that have been created by the DBMS. The DBMS uses this catalog to verify user requests for data, and users can query the catalog for information about the database structures that exist.
  • Database access language: The DBMS must also provide an API for data access, often in the form of a database access language, which may be used to read and alter data as well as create database objects and secure and authorize access to the data. SQL is a database access language that includes multiple sets of commands, such as Data Control Language (DCL) for granting data access, Data Definition Language (DDL) for building database structures, and Data Manipulation Language (DML) for reading and editing data.
  • Optimization engine: A DBMS may additionally include an optimization engine, which parses database access language requests and converts them into executable commands for accessing and altering data.
  • Query processor: Once a query is optimized, the DBMS must provide a medium to run the query and return results.
  • Lock manager: This critical component of the DBMS controls concurrent access to the same data. Locks are essential to ensure that several users are not attempting to edit the same data concurrently.
  • Log manager: The DBMS records any changes made to data handled by the DBMS. The log is a record of changes, and the DBMS’s log management component ensures that log records are created effectively and properly. The DBMS employs the log manager to assure data integrity during shutdown and startup, and it communicates with database utilities to perform backups and recoveries.

Data utilities. A DBMS also includes a suite of tools for managing and controlling database operations. Database utilities include reorganization, runstats, backup and copy, recovery, integrity checking, data loading and unloading, and database repair.

Advantages of Database Systems

Now that have understood about Database Systems, different languages it supports, and types of Database Systems. In this section, you will read about the advantages of Database Systems. A few benefits of Database Systems are listed below:

  • Data Safety: As the number of users accessing the Database increases, the threats to data breaches increase. Database Systems ensure data confidentiality and safety through controlled user access.
  • Improves Efficiency: Using better-streamlined software to access data that can convert data into valuable information for analysis helps companies make better data-driven business decisions.
  • Data Sharing: Database Systems or DBMS allow users to easily share data, whether it’s available on On-premise Database or remote users by following the correct authorization protocols. It provides well-managed data to get faster query responses.
  • Data Integration: Data Systems support many integrations and provide users a holistic view of the data. It also helps users to know how different activities affect other activities and monitor the progress of the company’s activities.
  • Better Decision Making: Database Systems keep the data in a well-managed form, which helps businesses to have better capacity in making sound decisions.

Applications of Database Systems

Let’s go through some of the most common applications of Database Systems or DBMS. A few applications are listed below:

  • Telecommunication: Databases Systems store all the data related to monthly bills, call archives, user information, retaining balances, subscription packages, and other details.
  • Sales and Marketing: Companies store all the user information, Sales details, prospects, leads, and information on Marketing Campaigns in Database Systems.
  • Airlines: All the information on flight bookings, payments, customers, offers, destination, and venue is stored in Databases.
  • Human Resources: Database Systems store and manage all the data related to salary, employees, departments, finances, deductions, and other confidential information.
  • Banks: DBMS stores all the data related to clients and their bank accounts, deposit and withdrawal, credits, and mortgages. 
  • Education: Student’s details, records, marks, achievements, courses, and other details are managed in Database Systems.
  • Economics and Finance: Database Systems store all the data on transactions, bonds, fiscal instruments such as shares.


This article gave an in-depth knowledge of Database Systems that can be used by companies to set up the procedure and handle the business requirements in a smooth fashion. Sectors, such as Banks, Telecom companies, Airlines, Sales & Marketing, Educational institutions, Industrial and Civil departments, use DBMS for storing, keeping, and maintaining records. Companies extract information from these different resources, and then use Big Data tools along with the Database Systems to acquire useful insights. 

Overall, Database Systems are used by every type of organization and their applications are endless. Having a proper Database architecture will ensure that users gain valuable business insight throughout the company.

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Syeda Famita Amber
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Syeda is a freelance writer having passion towards wiriting about data industry who creates informative content on data analytics, machine learning, AI, big data, and business intelligence topics.

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