What is the Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS?

What is the Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS?

5 mins read4.5K Views Comment
Updated on Nov 30, 2023 15:35 IST

DBMS (Database Management System) is a software tool that manages databases, while RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) is a type of DBMS that organizes data into tables with predefined relationships. Unlike DBMS, RDBMS ensures data integrity through constraints and enforces ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) for transactions. Let’s understand more DBMS and RDMS differences.

A database is a collection of structured information or data stored in a computer system. We need DBMS (Database Management System) and RDBMS (Relational Database Management system) to manage a database. DBMS enables us to collect, store, process, and retrieve data, while RDMS is an advanced version. In this post, we will learn more about these two software systems. We will also compare DBMS and RDBMS to understand their difference.

Explore Popular Databases Courses

Table of Content

Before we dive into understanding the difference between DBMS and RDBMS, let us explore the meaning of data, database, DBMS, and RDBMS.

What is Data?

Data is a collection of different pieces of information. It is a collection of facts, such as numbers, measurements, observations, etc. Data could include information about any object in consideration.

Data Collection Methods and Types
Data Collection Methods and Types
Data collection methods can be divided into primary and secondary methods that can help in quantitative and qualitative data research.

For example, a person’s name, age, height, phone number, email, etc. Data can also include an image, file, pdf, etc. The phone numbers saved in your phone’s contact list are also a form of data.

What is a Database?

Database refers to a systematic or organized collection of structured information. A database is stored and manipulated electronically in a computer system. We can control a database using a database management system (DBMS).

In your phone’s contact list, all the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other information are organised. We can easily access and edit any data at any time. This organized collection is known as a Database.

What is the Difference Between Hardware and Software?
What is the Difference Between Hardware and Software?
A computer system is divided into hardware and software. Hardware is a physical component of the system which includes CPU, monitor, mouse and keyboard. Software is a set of instructions...read more

What is DBMS (Database Management System)?

DBMS, or a Database Management System, is computer software that allows users to store, manage, update, retrieve, and secure a database. It helps create and maintain data and enables the individual business application to extract the desired data. DBMS (Database Management System) was first introduced in 1960 by Charles W. Bachman to store data.

A DBMS serves as an interface between the data and the software application. It takes the request for data from an application and tells the operating system to provide the required data. In large systems, a DBMS enables users and other third-party software to store and retrieve data.


Why Use DBMS?

  • Helps in maintaining data uniformity
  • Ensures effective data integration
  • Increases productivity of the end-user
  • Facilitates quick decision-making
  • Efficiently handles large sets of data
  • Improves data sharing and data security
  • DBMS are versatile – we can access them on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
What are the Applications of DBMS?
What are the Applications of DBMS?
DBMS (Database Management System) serves as a versatile tool, revolutionizing data analytics. With its applications in data storage, retrieval, and manipulation, it empowers businesses to make informed decisions, streamline operations,...read more
What are the Advantages of DBMS?
What are the Advantages of DBMS?
The advantages of a DBMS (Database Management System) are numerous and impactful. It centralizes data storage, enhances data security and privacy, enforces data integrity, ensures efficient data access and retrieval,...read more
File System vs DBMS: What are the Differences?
File System vs DBMS: What are the Differences?
Curious about how your computer organizes files or how websites handle mountains of data? The answer lies in two powerful tools: File Systems and DBMS. File Systems are like digital...read more

What is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)?

Created in the 1970s, RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) is an advanced version of a DBMS. It enables users to access data more efficiently than DBMS.

A relational database is a type of database that stores data in a well-organized arrangement (in tables), consisting of rows and columns. It uses a structure that allows users to identify and access data in relation to other data in the database.

A relational database management system (RDBMS) allows users to create, update, and administer a relational database. Many relational database management systems use SQL (Structured Query Language) to access the database.

Why Use RDBMS?

  1. Easy usability
  2. Allows database administrators to control activities over the database
  3. Can handle huge quantities of data uniformly
  4. Offers data safety, it helps against sudden system power failures and accidental shutdown.
  5. Concurrent Access – database can be accessed from multiple connections (user) at a time.

Also Read: Difference Between Internet and Intranet

Also read: Database and SQL Online Courses & Certification

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

Now let us explore the differences between DBMS vs RDBMS.

Aspect DBMS (Database Management System) RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
Data Organization Stores data in files and directories. Organizes data into tables with predefined relationships.
Data Relationships Does not enforce relationships between data. Enforces relationships between tables using primary and foreign keys.
Data Integrity Offers limited support for data integrity. Ensures data integrity through constraints and validations.
Data Model Supports various data models, including NoSQL. Follows a relational data model with tables and rows.
Schema Flexibility Schema changes may require data migration. Allows schema modifications without data migration.
ACID Properties May not fully support ACID properties for transactions. Fully supports ACID properties for reliable transactions.
Query Language May have proprietary query languages. Uses standard SQL (Structured Query Language) for data manipulation.
Performance Optimization Performance optimization may be limited. Utilizes advanced query optimization techniques for efficient queries.
Scalability May have limitations in handling large datasets. Offers scalability to manage large volumes of data effectively.
Examples of Systems File systems, MongoDB, SQLite. MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.

Top 8 Disadvantages of DBMS
Top 8 Disadvantages of DBMS
DBMS (Database Management System) is a useful tool, but it has some downsides. It can be expensive to set up initially, and creating a complex database can be complicated. Sometimes,...read more


This article tried to explore the difference between DBMS and RDBMS. We learned that the main difference between DBMS and RDBMS is that DBMS is software that stores and manages data. RDBMS is an advanced version of DBMS. DBMS uses the file format and does not have relational elements. On the other hand, RDBMS software uses a table format where headers are columns and values are rows.

Top Database Interview Questions and Answers for 2023
Top Database Interview Questions and Answers for 2023
A database is a structured collection of data that is organized, stored, and managed for easy access, retrieval, and manipulation. It serves as a central repository for storing and managing...read more


Which is better DBMS or RDBMS?

RDBMS offers many benefits over DBMS. DBMS stores data in file format, while RDBMS stores data in the form of tables. RDBMS is an advanced version of DBMS. RDBMS is more efficient and faster than DBMS.


SQL is not a DBMS or RDBMS. It is a language that enables users to retrieve the data from the database. With the help of SQL, we can query data on database management systems.

What differentiates DBMS from RDBMS?

Distributed databases are not supported by DBMS, whereas RDBMS allows for distributed databases.

When should a file-based system be used instead of a database system?

A file-based system should be used while dealing with small amounts of data.

What is the full form of DBMS?

DBMS full form is Database Management System.

About the Author

This is a collection of insightful articles from domain experts in the fields of Cloud Computing, DevOps, AWS, Data Science, Machine Learning, AI, and Natural Language Processing. The range of topics caters to upski... Read Full Bio