Difference between DBMS and RDBMS: DBMS Vs RDBMS

DBMS and RDBMS are both sets of computer programs that help store data in a structured format in a database. This ultimately makes it easier to store, manage and retrieve data efficiently. The database has so far proved to be an essential and integral part of the data collection system. Although they (DBMS and RDBMS) seem quite similar, there are significant differences between DBMS and RDBMS.

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

Before discussing the difference between DBMS and RDBMS, let's take a quick overview of both:

What is DBMS?

A DBMS (Database Management System) is a software technology solution that primarily helps to systematically store and manage information or data in a database. It also helps to create, define, modify and maintain databases, and provide controlled access to data. DBMS was first introduced in 1960 by Charles W. Bachman.

DBMS can also be used to manipulate data using features such as insertion, deletion, and updating. It acts as an interface between the database and the end-user and allows manipulating data in the database at the same time. DBMS technology is enabling businesses and individuals to work efficiently with databases and obtain the desired data effectively.

Advantages of DBMS

The following are some advantages of the DBMS:

DBMS supports single-user mode only for faster performance.
DBMS treats data as files internally.
DBMS can work even with low software and hardware support.
It is best suited for small businesses or individuals.

What is RDBMS?

RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) is not usually the opposite of DBMS. Instead, it is an extended version of the DBMS. This means that RDBMS is a more sophisticated version of DBMS and provides more functionality. Therefore, RDBMS allows businesses to use data more efficiently than DBMS. It was first introduced in 1970.

RDBMS is a software package with computer programs to help users create, update, and manage a relational database, which is distinguished by the structured data in logically independent table forms. It primarily sorts data into rows and columns, called tuples and tables. RDBMS is currently a powerful data management system that is in use worldwide.

Advantages of RDBMS

The following are some advantages of the RDBMS:

RDBMS provides support for multiple users.
RDBMS treats data as tables internally.
RDBMS requires high software and hardware to add optimum performance with more features.
It is best suited for large businesses and organizations.

Note: A database refers to an organized collection of data or structured information, which is stored electronically or digitally. Typically, databases use a structured query language (short for SQL) to write and query data.  

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS - DBMS Vs RDBMS

DBMS Vs RDBMS: Key Differences

Let’s discuss some major differences between DBMS and RDBMS:

DBMS stores data as files, whereas RDBMS stores the data in tables (tabular form).

The modification of data is a bit complex in RDBMS, whereas it is relatively easy in DBMS.

DBMS does not have any mechanism for sorting data. However, in RDBMS, there is a proper set of defined mechanisms for sorting the data.

DBMS allows one user to work on at a time, whereas multiple users can work in RDBMS at the same time.

DBMS is subject to deal with small amounts of data. Besides, RDBMS can handle unlimited data.

When it comes to fetching data for complex data, DBMS is slow. However, it is relatively fast in RDBMS. Since RDBMS can efficiently handle complex and large amounts of data, it is useful for a wider range of applications than DBMS.

The data redundancy is common in DBMS, which means the data can repeat in DBMS. Besides in RDBMS, there is no data redundancy because of keys and indexes.

DBMS is meant to manage databases in system hard-disks and networks. In contrast, RDBMS is meant to manage relationships between the tables and the corresponding data values in each table.

Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS

Let’s discuss the difference between DBMS and RDBMS with the help of the following comparison chart (in a tabular form):

It stands for ‘Database Management System’. It stands for ‘Relational Database Management System’.
DBMS technology stores the data in the form of files. RDBMS stores the data in the form of tables.
No relationship is formed between the data in DBMS. In RDBMS, the data is stored in multiple tables and therefore can relate to each other with foreign keys.
The data in DBMS is typically stored in navigational or hierarchical forms. In RDBMS, data is stored in a tabular form where the headers are column names, and the rows have corresponding data values. Any data can be easily accessed through the column name and row index.
DBMS allows managing the databases on the computer hard disks and computer networks. RDBMS allows maintaining the relationships among the tables in databases.
Data elements through DBMS can only be accessed individually. In RDBMS, multiple data elements can be accessed at the same time.
DBMS provides support only for a single user at a time. RDBMS provides support for multiple users at a time.
Data in regular databases may not be stored following the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) model, which typically inconsistencies in databases. Although relational databases are harder to create, they are consistent, well-structured, and follow the ACID model.
In DBMS, Normalization is absent. In RDBMS, Normalization is present so that there is a proper structure of rows and columns in tables.
There is no support for the distributed databases in DBMS. RDBMS provides support for the distributed databases.
There is no support for client-server architecture in DBMS. RDBMS provides support for the client-server architecture.
DBMS is designed to handle small amounts of data. RDBMS is designed to deal with a vast amount of data.
Data fetching for the complex and large amount of data is relatively slower in DBMS. Data fetching is quick in RDBMS due to the relational approach.
In DBMS, there is no support for the integrity constraints. In RDBMS, there is support for integrity constraints at the schema level.
Data Redundancy is quite common in DBMS. RDBMS utilizes keys and indexes in tables, which eliminates the Data Redundancy in this model.
Here, the data is subject to low-security levels when it comes to data manipulation. The data in RDBMS has multiple security levels during data manipulation. Also, log files are created at the OS level, command level, and object level as well.
DBMS can efficiently work with low software and hardware requirements. RDBMS requires higher software and hardware.
The examples of DBMS include XML, MS Access, file systems, Dbase, etc. The examples of RDBMS include MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, etc.


The comparison between DBMS and RDBMS simply makes it clear that the relational database management system is an improved version of DBMS and is more powerful. Although, both DBMS and RDBMS are used to store and manage data in databases, there are several notable differences between them. Moreover, RDBMS is the most widely used database management system in the present time.

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