Introduction to Database Management System and its Users

To understand Database Management System (DBMS), it is necessary to know about Database and even before that, about Data. Data is any facts or figures which can be recorded and which has a latent meaning. Database is a collection of such data, more accurately it is a collection of related data. For e.g. a database of countries of the world and their calling code. Here, countries and calling code are related to each other and the database serves a purpose, to provide user with correct calling code. A random collection where, data is neither related nor serve a purpose cannot be called as a database. In summary a database is a collection of logically coherent data, which come together to serve a particular purpose and they emulate some aspect of real world.

Software which is used to manage such databases is called DBMS. For e.g. Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase. DBMS software is a collection of programs which facilitate in access, retrieval, security, creation and sharing of database among its users or other applications. Primary Goal of DBMS Software is to provide an efficient and convenient way of storing and retrieving data.

DBMS is a very widely used software in different industries like Banking, Railways, Airlines, Universities and a lot of other industries. Database System is designed to handle very large amount of data and may extend up to several Terabytes of size. It must also have an inbuilt mechanism to recover the data in case of system crashes and protect the data for any unauthorized access and manipulation.

It is interesting to know that we all come across database several times during the day, during logging into email account, user-id and encrypted password associated with it is retrieved. During ATM transaction, money is debited and account is updated with the same in the Database System of the bank, these types of use make us End Users. End users are basically consumers who are using a product; they might use it for generating monthly reports, withdrawing money from bank or for specialized and complex use like forecasting sales for next season.

Database Administrators are needed to administer and monitor usage of the Database. They are responsible to tune the Database for performance issues, to grant access of DB to users and initiate recovery in event of system crash and protect the system in case of security issues.

Database Designers come into picture before a database is built. They gather requirements from all prospective users; level of access required for each user or a group and designs the DB which meets the requirement. They are responsible for identifying the data to be populated and appropriate data strictures for the database. They are generally part of Database Administrators.

Application programmers are necessary to built user interfaces and applications to satisfy needs of end users. They develop applications which make data retrieval, creation of reports more convenient. They are fully aware of all the functionalities of DB and use it to their advantage.

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Database Management System (DBMS)