Data has become the new gold. They are essential for companies to better understand their customers, identify new needs and trends, design more effective market strategies and evaluate their results. However, to get the most out of the information collected, it is necessary to have a database management system .
What is a database management system?
A database management system (SGBD) is software made up of a series of programs aimed at creating, managing and administering the information found in the database . Its main objective is to serve as an interface between users and applications to facilitate the organization of data, guarantee its accessibility, quality and integrity, while providing an efficient way of managing that information.
The manipulation language , a data definition language, and a query language are the three components of a database manager; so it can work at different levels, but it is invisible to the end user.
The main functions of a database manager
A database management system not only allows you to manage information and maintain its consistency, but also offers the possibility of building and defining the database at different levels of abstraction for different applications, facilitating processes and their maintenance. It allows performing operations on the database and then providing the information to the user efficiently and safely. Therefore, among the functions of a database manager are:
- Definition of the data. It allows defining all the objects of the database starting from definitions in the source version, so that they can be stored according to their type or structure.
- Data manipulation. It responds to user requests to perform delete, update and data extraction operations, but thanks to its independence it also allows the physical or logical schema of the database to be modified without making changes to the applications that use it.
- Preserve the security and integrity of the data. Upon request, the database manager applies the security measures defined to guarantee the validity and integrity of the data, also avoiding attacks or access by unauthorized users.
- Data recovery and restoration. In the event of a failure or inconsistent update, database managers also offer the possibility of recovering and restoring information.
What types of database managers are there?
There are different models for managing records, which differ fundamentally in the way the data is structured. The relational database model is the most popular and common , as is the case with MySQL and Oracle Database. The data is structured in table rows with the possibility of creating different relationships between the rows and presenting them in columns with common keys.
In the hierarchical database model, data is organized in parent-child relationships following a tree-like structure, like that of IBM’s IMS. Another way of organizing data is the network model , in which the information is structured as a network with complex relationships and different paths can be followed to track each record.
In the case of the object-oriented database model , such as PostgreSQL, normally used for graphical data, not only the relationship between the data records is taken into account, but also the inheritance, so that the objects can transfer some of its attributes to other objects. Finally, the document-oriented database model allows records to be stored in different documents, as is the case with CouchDB and OrientDB.
Database management systems: advantages and disadvantages
Having a database manager brings numerous advantages to companies. First of all, it allows them to efficiently manage large data sets, facilitating easy access to them . It also guarantees the integrity and consistency of the data , allowing the incorporation of access control measures for greater security and protection.
However, the initial investment to create a database management system is usually high . Companies must also bear the maintenance costs of hardware and specialized personnel , such as database administrators. In addition, centralizing the data could imply a greater vulnerability of the same if an accident or cyber attack occurs.
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