There are many different types of database management systems on the market today. Each database management system operates on the same basic level – it supports the collection of schemes, queries, reports, tables, views and other data objects, so that you can model various aspects of the data.
A good database management system will allow the user to interact with the database in an intuitive way, and may also support the management of data through other applications.
Popular Database Management Systems Today
The most popular database management systems on the market today are MySQL, PostgreSQL, IBM’s DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL server and Sybase. There are many others, however, and for the end user the database in question doesn’t matter so much as the interface that is offered to that database.
It is interesting to note that many DBMSes are able to interoperate thanks to standards such as JDBC, SQL and ODBC, which provide an abstracted layer on top of the DBMS.
While you may sometimes hear database management systems being referred to by the type of database model which they support, this is becoming relatively rare, since the relational database model has been the de-facto standard since the 1980s, so there is no need to clarify whether a database is relational or not these days.
What A Good DBMS Has To Provide
A good DBMS provides a number of functions to allow the storage, retrieval and updating of information, and will offer auditing and security features, as well as the option to roll back transactions.
A lot of people casually use the term ‘database’ to refer not just to the specific collection of records and tables, but the DBMS itself. Indeed, outside of the world of IT it is not uncommon for people to refer to any collection of data – even a card index or a simple spreadsheet, as a database. This is not the correct use of the term in the IT context, but is is something that is generally understood outside of the world of IT.
As well as working with the data enhancement itself, the data management solutions used for registering and monitoring users, enforcing data security, and ensuring that records are looked after in terms of concurrency control – this is particularly important if you have a large number of users. Record locking and redundancy are important, as is the option to recover data in the event of a system’s failure.
The most popular free DBMS is MySQL – this is an open source platform that is often used on the web. PostgreSQL is also a common web database that is gaining popularity in other avenues too.
MicrosoftSQL is a mainstay of many companies, because it is easy to deploy on Windows servers. Oracle and IBM DB2 are often found in enterprise deployments, but the expense of those systems makes them comparatively rare in smaller businesses.
There are some other lightweight database systems that are becoming popular for small businesses, but the above are the ones that have the most established