What is the difference between DBMS and RDBMS?
Published July 09,2016 by Tony Lee

What is the difference between DBMS and RDBMS?

Database Management System or DBMS is a software application that acts as an interface between the user, various applications and the database for the purpose of analyzing and storing the data. This system is responsible for retrieving, creating, managing and updating the data in a synchronized manner. For doing the same, database languages are used by a database management system.

If we talk about the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), it is a type of DBMS which is based on the Relational Model. Majority of the databases that are used presently are designed on the relational database model itself.

Since DBMS and RDBMS share the same concept i.e. they both are Database Management systems, people usually confuse between them. In this article, we will talk about the differences between these two databases management systems in detail.

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

In this section we will discuss about all the parameters in which these two differ from each other.

  1. Data Storage

DBMS: Here, all the applications store their data in the form of a file. This data stored in the file is either stored in a navigational form or in a hierarchical form.

RDBMS: Here. all the applications store their entire data in the tabular form (in tables). These tables consists of an identifier termed as primary key.

  1. Normalization

The process of arranging the entire data in a database for avoiding data redundancy is known as Normalization.

DBMS: Normalization does not exist.

RDBMS: Normalization exists.

  1. Security

DBMS: Does not give any security constraints for securing the data from manipulation.

RDBMS: Provides integrity constraint for the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability) property and is more secure.

  1. Distributed Database

A distributed database is one in which all the storage devices are not connected with the same common CPU and is controlled by a distributed database management system.

DBMS: The distributed databases are not supported.

RDBMS: The distributed databases are supported.

  1. Relation Between Tables

DBMS: Deploys file system for storing the data, therefore there is no relation between the data tables.

RDBMS: Stores the data in tabular form and hence a relation exists between the tables.

  1. Number Of Users

DBMS: Supports single user only. It is used for storing small amount of data and thus is generally used in small scale organizations.

RDBMS: Supports multiple users. Since it can handle large amount of data, it is preferred by large organizations.

  1. Examples

DBMS: Some of the file systems are XML, Microsoft Access, etc.

RDBMS: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Oracle, etc. are some of the common examples.


When it comes to deciding which database management system is best for your organization, you need to keep in mind the size of your organization and the amount of data which needs to be managed. However, since RDBMS is more secure and stores data in a structured manner, choosing RDBMS is a better choice than choosing DBMS.

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