Five Major Components of DBMS

Database Management System (DBMS) refers to a set of computer programs in a software package specifically designed for the creation, maintenance, and use of databases by following appropriate security measures. All DBMS software come with some common integrated components to perform specific functions. 


In this article, we discuss the essential or major components of DBMS which are universal in all DBMS software. Additionally, the article also lists some other DBMS components that are used to extend the core functionality of the database and its environment.

What are the components of DBMS?

A DBMS consists of several components and each component has a specific function in the database management system environment. Although DBMS consists of many components, Hardware, Software, Data, Database Access Language, and Procedures are the five major components of DBMS

Components of DBMS

Let us understand each component in detail along with the function of each:


Hardware

Hardware refers to the set of physical electronic devices such as computers and their components, which include I/O devices for data in or out, storage devices, and other physical components. Hardware, with the help of software, helps establish an interface between a computer and a real-world system to help users create, access, or maintain databases. 

One cannot implement or use DBMS without hardware. Databases are created, accessed, and/or managed using a range of machines from microcomputers to mainframes. When we run any database management system, such as Oracle, MySQL, etc. on our PC, then the computer parts like the mouse, keyboard, RAM, ROM, hard-disk all become part of DBMS hardware.

Note: A database is defined as a collection of logically related information that is securely organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed, and/or updated using a DBMS. 


Software

Software is one of the main components of a database management system. It refers to the set of multiple programs used to control and manage the entire database and its structure. The software includes DBMS software, operating systems, network-based programs that help in sharing data between users, and application software to help users to access data within a database.

The software establishes an easy-to-use interface for users to control the hardware and to create, store, access, and/or update data in the database. All requests made by users for database management are handled and processed by the DBMS software. DBMS software usually understands the 'Database Access Language' and converts it into database commands or instructions to be executed/run on the respective database.


Data

Data is another important component in a database management system environment as DBMS mainly exists to collect, store, access, and process data. Using a DBMS, the database is first created, constructed, or defined. After that, the desired data is stored, accessed, or updated to/from the created databases.

The primary reason behind the introduction of a database management system was to store and maintain data within the database. A typical database stores both actual (or operational) data and metadata (information or details about the actual data for better understanding).


When we store specific data (for example, a person's name) in the database, the DBMS also stores additional information such as when and where the data was stored, the size of the data, whether the data is relative or independent, etc. All this additional information about the actual data (i.e., the name) is collectively called metadata.


Procedures

Procedures refer to the rules and instructions that help to design and use a database management system. This typically includes procedures such as assisting in setting up and installing a database management system (DBMS), logging in or out of the DBMS software, changing or modifying the database structure, managing databases, generating reports, backing up databases, etc. 

The basic purpose of procedures is to help guide users to the operation and management of database systems.

Database Access Language

Database Access Language is a simple language that allows users to write commands to perform desired operations on the data stored in the database. Everything like creating a new database, creating tables, inserting data, accessing, updating, or deleting stored data can be done using database access language.

The user has to write a set of appropriate commands in the database access language and submit it to the DBMS for further execution. The DBMS translates the given commands, processes the data accordingly, and generates or displays the result in a readable form to the user.

The following diagram is a structural visualization to explain how all the components of a DBMS fit together for users interacting with the database. 

Components of Database Management System

Apart from the DBMS components, the user also plays an important role in the database management system.

Types of Users in DBMS

User refers to every person who accesses the database and performs any operation like creating, deleting, accessing, or modifying data in the database with DBMS. There can be any number of users for a particular database, and they can perform various operations on-demand using the specific application and an interface provided by the DBMS.

Although database users can be of different types, they are mainly classified as the following:

Database Administrators (DBA): A database administrator, also called a DBA, is the person responsible for managing the entire database management system, including databases, user accounts, access control, backup or recovery, database security, etc.

Application Programmer or Software Developer: An application programmer or software developer is a person who designs and develops parts of a DBMS using various programming languages (such as Java, C++, or Visual Basic) to allow other users to interact with the DBMS. 

End-Users: Any person who indirectly interacts with a DBMS and performs various database-related operations like inserting, modifying, retrieving, or deleting data, using database commands or applications.


The application is programmed by the developer in such a way that they collect data from the end-user and store the data on the DBMS system running on the host server maintained by the database administrator.

Other DBMS Components

Following are some other components that help in the DBMS environment:

Query Processor

The query processor acts as an intermediate between the user's queries and the database and converts the queries into a series of actionable commands that can be sent to the runtime database manager for execution.

Run Time Database Manager

The run-time database manager, also called the database control system, refers to the central software component of the database management system that typically interacts with application programs or queries given by users, and also manages database access at run time. 

The primary function of the database control system is to convert operations within the submitted user queries. In addition, it provides controls to maintain continuity, security, and integrity for the data.

Data Manager

The data manager takes control of the data handling in the database. Additionally, it provides a recovery to the system which helps in retrieving the data after any sudden failure. It is also known as Cache Manager in DBMS.


Database Engine

The database engine manages the core services of storing, processing, and securing data. It typically provides controlled access and rapid transaction processing to meet the needs of the most demanding data-consuming applications. 

The database engine is most commonly integrated when creating relational databases for online transaction processing or online analytical processing of data.

Data Dictionary

A data dictionary can be defined as a reserved space within a database. It usually helps to store information about the database. Specifically, it is a set of read-only tables and views that contain additional information about the data used in any enterprise to ensure that the database representation of the data adheres to a single standard as described in the dictionary.

Report Writer

The report writer, or report generator, refers to a program that typically helps in extracting information from one or more files and further presenting the extracted information in a specified format. Generally, the report writers enable users to select records that fulfill specific conditions, display/ highlight desired fields in rows and columns, or format the data across various charts.


Summary 

This article discusses the primary components of the database management system in detail. Each component or module has a specific role in the DBMS environment. Understanding the various components of a DBMS and how it works and relates to each other is the first step in employing an effective DBMS.


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