RDBMS Full Form: What is RDBMS in Computer?

When it comes to organizing large amounts of data systematically and relationally, RDBMS is considered one of the best options. Typically, RDBMS is defined as the type of database, but it also refers to the database software itself. But the first question that comes to our mind is what is the full form of RDBMS?

In this article, we have briefly covered all the important topics of RDBMS, such as the RDBMS full form, what is RDBMS, its definition, characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and more.

What You Will Learn

What is the full form of RDBMS?

The meaning or full form of RDBMS is a 'Relational Database Management System'. It is a small subset of the DBMS designed specifically for relational databases, thus including the term relational in its name. RDBMS was initially introduced by E. F. Codd of IBM's San Jose Research Lab.

RDBMS Full Form

The full form of RDBMS can be explained as:

R Relational
D Data
B Base
M Management
S System

Note: It should be noted that the word 'database' is a single word and should always be written accordingly. A database is usually defined as an organized collection of data or structured information, which is stored electronically or digitally. In particular, databases use a structured query language (commonly abbreviated as SQL) to write and query data.

Let’s talk about what RDBMS is:

What is RDBMS?

RDBMS primarily refers to a database program designed to store data in a structured format using multiple rows and columns. It is used for relational databases, which means that the values of each table in the database are related to each other. Also, different tables in the database can be related to each other.

The relational structure of RDBMS allows users to implement queries in multiple tables simultaneously. The RDBMS program enables us to run queries on data, including creating, updating, or searching for values. This ultimately makes it easier to search and access a particular value within the database. For example, an RDBMS program can display data in tables such as Excel spreadsheets, making it easy to view or change individual values. 

Definition of RDBMS

By the definition of RDBMS, “A relational database management system (RDBMS) is defined as a database management system (DBMS) program that helps us to create, update and delete relational databases, as well as store data in the form of related tables.

Characteristics of RDBMS

The most common characteristics of RDBMS are listed below:

Data is stored in a tabular form in RDBMS database files. More specifically, the data is organized into rows and columns.

The tables are interlinked with the help of foreign keys.

Each row of the table is called a tuple/record. The number that refers to such rows is called the cardinality of the table.

Each column of the table is referred to as an attribute/field. The number that refers to such columns is called the arity of the table.

RDBMS uses candidate keys to avoid data duplication. A candidate key is typically defined as the minimum set of attributes used to identify a set of records uniquely.

Database tables in RDBMS support NULL values. This means that when the value of any element in the table is not given or missing, it is treated as a NULL value. This value is not equal to zero.

Examples of RDBMS (RDBMS Vendors)

Examples of some most popular RDBMS programs are discussed below:

MySQL: It is an open-source RDBMS that primarily uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to process data in a database. 

Oracle Database: It is a multi-model database management system introduced by Oracle Corporation.

Microsoft SQL Server: It is a close-source RDBMS offered by Microsoft.

PostgreSQL: It is an open-source database program designed primarily for web application development. It is not managed by any corporation.

SQLite: It is an RDBMS contained in the C library. Unlike many other database management systems, SQLite is not a client-server database engine. Instead, it is embedded in the end program.

Some of the programs listed above also support non-relational databases; however, they are primarily used for relational database management.

Let us understand this with an example of how a table usually contains data in RDBMS:

Suppose a table with some records of student details, such as:

Roll No. Student Name Section
1 Hanu C
2 Kavya A
3 Rudrakshi B
4 Divya C
5 Divyansh A

The table contains three columns, namely: Roll No., Student Name, and Section. It has records of five students. The records cannot be entirely the same; there is always something unique. In our case, the roll numbers are separating the records from one student to another. Thus, the roll number is acting like a candidate key to this table, separating the records. 

Apart from this, the records are related to each other. All the records are referring to the students’ details.

Advantages of RDBMS

The following are the advantages of RDBMS:

Since each table in RDBMS can be manipulated independently without affecting the other, it can be easily managed.

RDBMS has many levels of security, which makes it more secure than DBMS. In addition, access to shared data may be limited.

RDBMS is best suited to facilitate the storage and retrieval of large amounts of data.

RDBMS databases are more scalable; they can be easily increased/ extended according to the needs of the users.

RDBMS provides support for client-side architecture, making it suitable to store multiple users simultaneously.

Replication of the database in RDBMS provides simultaneous access and helps the system recover in case of unexpected uncertainties, such as a power failure or sudden shutdown.

Disadvantages of RDBMS

The following are the disadvantages of RDBMS:

Since RDBMS is meant for organizing vast amounts of data, it requires high-end hardware and extensive software support. That way, establishing a powerful setup for RDBMS systems may cost more.

Even though RDBMS has scalability, if we need to add more data, we may need more servers with extended power and memory support. This usually costs extra money.

When it comes to establishing relationships, large-scale data creates complexity in the understanding of relations between tables or data. Also, it can slow down performance.

Fields/columns of RDBMS systems are enclosed within certain limits, sometimes leading to data loss.


The following table discusses the most common differences between DBMS and RDBMS:

DBMS stores the data in the form of files. RDBMS stores the data in the form of tables.
DBMS is designed to handle small amounts of data. RDBMS is designed to deal with vast amounts of data.
DBMS provides support only for a single user at a time. RDBMS provides support for multiple users at a time.


RDBMS (stands for 'Relational Database Management System') is a collection of programs and capabilities that help us create clusters of interconnected databases in table form (i.e., as rows and columns). Nowadays most database systems are based on relational database models.

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