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Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

A DBMS is a group of interconnected data and a collection of programs to access that data. RDBMS the DBMS variant designed to remove DBMS inefficiencies. The common difference between DBMS and RDBMS that DBMS only provides an environment in which people can conveniently store and retrieve information with the presence of redundant data. On the other hand, RDBMS uses normalization to eliminate data redundancy.

DBMS follows a navigation model while RDBMS uses the relational model to store and retrieve data.

Comparative chart

Basis for DBMSRDBMS comparison
Stands for Database management system Relational database management system
Data store The data is stored in the navigation model. The data are stored in the relational model (in the tables).
Data redundancy exhibition Not present
normalization Not done RDBMS uses normalization to reduce or eliminate redundancy.
modificabilit Complex data modification. Editing data easy and simple.
Access to data Take more time Faster than DBMS.
Constraints based on schema and data dependencies Unemployed Employee in RDBMS.
Keys and indexes Not used To establish relationship keys and indexes are used in RDBMS.
Transaction management Inefficient, error-prone and insecure. Efficient and safe
Distributed databases Not supported Supported by RDBMS.
Example Dbase, Microsoft Access, LibreOffice Base, FoxPro. SQL server, Oracle, mysql, MariaDB, SQLite.

Definition of DBMS

DBMS (Database Management System) composed of a group of interconnected data and a combination of programs to access, maintain and use a database. A database it can be defined as an ordered collection of significantly associated data, which can be retrieved in several logical orders. In the DBMS the files are related.

DBMS not an application specific software; in fact, general purpose software. Emphasizes on storage and access to data. It allows different users to insert, modify, share, view and manipulate data in the database.

The DBMS was developed from its predecessor system file based in which a series of application programs are aimed at creating services for end users. Each program defines and manages its own data means that for each database there is a separate application program.

The limitations of the file-based approach are:

  • Dependency of the data in which the application program depends on the data.
  • The same data is stored in more than one place (data duplication).
  • Incompatible file formats in which the structure of a file is based on the programming language of the application.
  • The data is isolated, making it difficult to access the data.
  • Data recovery more difficult.
  • Difficult to ensure integrity and consistency.
  • Different programs have been written for each database, which consumes a lot of space.

The DBMS approach was developed to overcome the limitations of the file-based approach. a single integrated software that offers a series of primitives to define, access and manipulate data from all databases that eliminate the independence of the data, therefore, eliminates the need to write different programs to manage each database. All data stored in one place and managed centrally, which reduces redundancy.

The DBMS applies integrity constraints in order to maintain database consistency. It also supports multiple views, where different users are able to see different views. The only threat to DBMS is data integrity, where multiple users are attempting to modify the same data at the same time.

Definition of RDBMS

RDBMS yes expands to Relational database management system . Following is the relational model in which the data is stored in multiple tables and the tables are linked together using keys. According to dr. EF Codd (inventor of the relational model) every database that has tables and constraints must be a relational database.

There are basically three constituent parts involved in the relational model: structural, integrity and manipulative parts. The part Structural defines the database in the form of relationships (tables). There part of integrity maintains the integrity of the relational model with the help of primary and foreign keys. The part manipulative uses relational calculus and relational algebra to manipulate a relational database. To understand relational algebra and relational calculus refer to the already written article – Difference between relational algebra and relational calculus.

Normalization of data it is used in RDBMS to avoid data redundancy in tables. Structured Query Language (SQL) was introduced as the standard language for accessing RDBMS. The normalization technique helps the SQL query to access data from tables faster than DBMS. RDBMS is a widely used database model where you can store and access a complex and large amount of data.

Key differences between DBMS and RDBMS

  1. The DBMS follows the navigation model while RDBMS follows a relational model in to which the data is stored in the form of tables and there is a relationship between these tables.
  2. In DBMS the same copies of the data can be stored in several places, but in RDBMS data redundancy is eliminated by normalization.
  3. Since multiple copies are stored in different locations in the DBMS, it is difficult to edit the same file in different locations. On the other hand, since there is negligible duplication of data in RDBMS, it is easy to make changes in the data.
  4. can access data faster in case of RDBMS. In contrast, DBMS consumes more time in accessing data.
  5. Only integrity constraints are used in DBMS while RDBMS uses schema-based constraints and data dependencies.
  6. Keys is indices they are not used in DBMS. In contrast, in RDBMS these are used to establish a relationship between the tables.
  7. DBMS does not impose constraints on ACID properties. In contrast, RDBMS imposes constraints to maintain ACID properties.
  8. Dbase, Microsoft Access, LibreOffice Base and ForPro are some of the examples of DBMS. On the contrary, there are various widely used RDBMS such as SQL Server, Oracle, Mysql, SQLite, etc.


DBMS and RDBMS are the database management system where RDBMS is the successor of the DBMS. RDBMS is more efficient, faster and more popular and effectively eliminates the limitations of DBMS. The DBMS does not impose any constraints and security regarding manipulation while RDBMS defines integrity constraints with the intention of maintaining the ACID property.