Understanding DBMS and RDBMS – Interview Notes


A Database Management System (DBMS) is a sophisticated software suite that facilitates the creation, maintenance, and interaction with databases. It serves as an intermediary between the user and the database, providing an organized structure for storing and retrieving data efficiently. Examples of DBMS include file systems, XML databases, and the Windows Registry.

In contrast, a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a specialized form of DBMS that organizes data in tables, introducing a relational structure. This innovation, introduced in the 1970s, simplifies data access and storage. Prominent examples of RDBMS include MySQL and Oracle DB.

Understanding Databases

A database is a structured collection of organized and logically consistent data, easily accessible and updatable. Typically composed of tables or objects, databases store entries and fields. A tuple, representing a single entry, contains attributes and columns conveying information about specific elements. Users interact with a database through queries submitted to the Database Management System (DBMS).

Drawbacks of Traditional File-Based Systems

Traditional file-based systems present several limitations that make a Database Management System (DBS) a superior alternative. The lack of indexing in file-based systems results in time-consuming content access.

Redundancy and inconsistency arise due to duplicate data across multiple files. Concurrency management is also lacking, leading to operational inefficiencies. DBMS addresses these issues, offering improved organization, data integrity, and security.

Benefits of Database Management Systems (DBS)

Employing a DBMS provides numerous advantages:

  • Data Sharing: Multiple users can simultaneously access and share data.
  • Integrity Restrictions: Maintains ordered and refined data storage.
  • Controlling Database Redundancy: Eliminates redundancy by integrating all data into a single database.
  • Data Independence: Allows changes to the data structure without affecting existing application programs.
  • Backup and Recovery Facility: Automatically generates backups and facilitates data restoration.
  • Data Security: Enhances data storage and transmission reliability and security.

DBMS Languages

DBMS languages serve distinct purposes:

  • DDL (Data Definition Language): Defines databases using commands like CREATE, ALTER, and DROP.
  • DML (Data Manipulation Language): Alters data with commands such as SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT, and DELETE.
  • DCL (Data Control Language): Manages user permissions through commands like GRANT and REVOKE.
  • TCL (Transaction Control Language): Governs database transaction control using commands like COMMIT, ROLLBACK, and SAVEPOINT.

ACID Properties in DBMS

ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) ensure secure data transactions in a DBMS:

  • Atomicity: Ensures a transaction is either executed in its entirety or not at all.
  • Consistency: Guarantees data consistency before and after a transaction.
  • Isolation: Ensures each transaction is isolated from others.
  • Durability: Preserves committed data despite system failures.

NULL Values in a Database

NULL values in a database represent an unknown, unavailable, or not applicable value and differ from zero or blank space, which signify numerical or character values, respectively.

Data Warehousing

Data warehousing involves gathering, extracting, processing, and storing data from various sources in a central repository. It serves as a historical data collection for analytics, aiding decision-making.

Data Abstraction Layers in DBMS

DBMS employs three data abstraction layers:

  • Physical Level: Describes the database’s physical data storage.
  • Conceptual or Logical Level: Specifies data content and relationships.
  • External or View Level: Represents a subset of the database, providing a virtual table for users.

Entity-Relationship (E-R) Model

The E-R model is a diagrammatic approach to database architecture:

  • Entity: A real-world object with attributes.
  • Entity Type: A group of entities sharing the same properties.
  • Entity Set: A collection of all entities belonging to a specific entity type.

Intension vs. Extension in a Database

  • Intension: The database schema, describing the database’s structure.
  • Extension: A snapshot of the database at a specific moment, representing the number of tuples.


  • DELETE Command: Removes rows based on specified conditions, and it can be rolled back.
  • TRUNCATE Command: Removes all data from a table, operates faster, and does not log individual row deletions.

Database Locks

Database locks prevent concurrent updates to the same data. Types include shared locks for reading and exclusive locks for writing.

Normalization and Denormalization

  • Normalization: Breaks up data into tables to minimize duplication and enhance data integrity.
  • Denormalization: Reverses normalization, combining tables for faster data retrieval.

Understanding DBMS and RDBMS is crucial in the realm of data management, enabling efficient organization, retrieval, and manipulation of data in various applications and industries.

You may also like:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply