10+ Disadvantages of DBMS

Database Management System, abbreviated as DBMS, refers to a software system that enables the user to define, create and maintain a database and manage control access to data. It consists of a set of programs that help the primary user to manage the database while allowing several other users to create, modify, access, store or retrieve information from the database in real-time.

Although a database management system has several significant advantages over previous data management approaches, it also has considerable disadvantages. 

In this article, we discuss some of the major disadvantages of DBMS (Database Management System). These disadvantages might be some of the reasons why most people or organizations do not want to upgrade to a database management system.

What are the disadvantages of DBMS?

The disadvantages of DBMS refer to all such activities or actions which are not good or cause problems. Although DBMS is getting widespread use nowadays, there are some undesirable characteristics or cons as well. Some common or considerable DBMS disadvantages are its complexity, performance, cost, maintenance, size, security, etc. 

Disadvantages of DBMS

Let us discuss some of the most common disadvantages of database management system in detail:

Increased Cost

One of the major disadvantages of DBMS is that the cost of the database system is quite high as compared to the traditional file system. When switching from the previous data management approach to a database management system, one has to invest additional costs. 

There are various costs involved in setting up a DBMS environment, such as:

Cost of Hardware and Software

First, one has to incur increased costs to buy high-spec hardware components, such as high-speed processors, upgraded memory, larger storage, etc. Since DBMS is built to store a large amount of data, it requires sophisticated hardware support. One cannot expect a great experience with a DBMS when using the hardware used for traditional file-based systems.

In addition, the hardware requires a supported software environment to function at maximum capacity. This means that one has to spend on application development or software development and upgrade related tools and extensions while providing an easy-to-use user interface and security. Thus, the cost of both hardware and software, and their maintenance is quite high.

Cost of Staff Training

There is also a need to train staff or employees based on the teaching of operating database management systems. In this way, they can handle the functioning and operation of the DBMS resources. There may be different training sessions depending on the role of the staff, such as Database Administrator (DBA), Application Programmer, Database Designer, System Analyst, Maintenance Personnel, etc.

A lot of money has to be spent to train the employees as the training of DBMS is somewhat expensive.

Cost of Data Conversion

Data conversion is another major requirement for most organizations when upgrading to a database management system. It will require skilled database system designers to convert the data from the old traditional systems to the DBMS. The cost of data conversion is also very high. 

Data conversion is a major reason why most organizations do not want to upgrade to a database management system. Although it costs a lot, there is also the possibility of data loss if something goes wrong during the data conversion process.


The database management system provides access to many features such as creating, accessing, modifying, retrieving, or deleting data. Due to the existence of many features or functionalities, DBMS is extremely complex software. The structure and operation of DBMS is so complex that it cannot be easily controlled or used by non-technical people.

Due to its complexity, if a person uses DBMS improperly or without skill, it can lead to some data loss or database functioning issues. In this way, the complexity of DBMS software is considered as one of the major disadvantages.

Need of Skilled Staff

Organizations should have skilled personnel working in teams on each specific task of the DBMS. Apart from this, a dedicated team of DBMS expert staff is also required to manage any kind of database problems, especially at a time when it becomes difficult to choose where to pick the data from and where to save it in the database.

Database management system requires a lot of management. For proper management, it is necessary to have employees with good knowledge like experienced developers, DBAs, designers, maintenance persons, etc. Additionally, end-users should also be familiar with the use of database systems.

Currency Maintenance

Efficiency is one of the major factors for any software or program, the same applies to DBMS software. Since efficiency is better managed with advancements and updates, organizations have to frequently update the DBMS software and implement the latest patches or security measures for all components of the DBMS, keeping it current. 

At the same time, DBMS vendors are less likely to offer better or favorable pricing options to their existing customers. Furthermore, given the huge investment in technology and personnel training for DBMS, customers (companies, organizations, etc.) may be reluctant to change database vendors.

Huge Size

Although a DBMS is built to handle large amounts of data and queries, there is no fixed limit on the amount of data that can be saved in the future. Initially, the size of the database is usually not large. However, it gets huge and huge over time as users keep saving a massive amount of data in it. 

Due to the large size of the data, database systems can sometimes cause problems. They usually do not run smoothly. To fix such issues, organizations should always be ready to increase their storage space and memory to run their operations efficiently.


The database management system is not considered a good option in terms of performance, especially for small organizations. Traditional file systems are written for smaller organizations based on their primary needs and are usually significantly faster in performance due to a fixed or limited number of applications. However, DBMS with its multi-functional support gives slower performance than traditional file systems.

Since DBMS is primarily built for managing and maintaining huge data, it is not suitable for small firms and organizations. Because performance is a factor that cannot be ignored while starting a new business or trying to grow.

Frequency Upgrade/Replacement Cycles

Everyone needs to be up-to-date about the latest technology these days. Therefore, DBMS vendors also integrate new features and functionalities to DBMS software from time to time to compete in this technological era. While updates are usually good and extend functionality, there can be more complexity with new features. 

As a result, organizations have to spend more to teach or train their employees about new changes or features. In addition, some major upgrades may also require the replacement of hardware components with more powerful or advanced components.

Database Failure

Data is one of the key elements for any organization and in case of data loss the entire organization can collapse. Since DBMS stores all the data or information in a single centralized database, any unforeseen accident can lead to the loss of valuable data. This can turn into a serious disadvantage of the DBMS.

This is the reason why most organizations also keep a backup of their valuable data. However, this will again cost additional amounts.

Difficult Backup and Recovery

Since DBMS is meant for huge data, backing up the data can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming. Similarly, even when there is a backup, the recovery of data can take time. Users can get tense due to the time taken to restore the backup.

Furthermore, since the database is handled and maintained by multiple users, it is again very difficult to know the actual state of the database failure in order to recover it in the worst cases. This can lead to data loss to some extent, which can also be very important data for the particular organization.

Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security

Since the DBMS is centralized, all the data is stored and accessed through a single database. Also, access control is given to the users of the remote location. This can sometimes lead to potential risks of data leakage that do not usually occur in traditional file systems. If the data of an organization is leaked, the personal information of every employee of the organization will be misused.

Data Integrity

Since the database in a DBMS gets updated in real-time, it is essential that the data remains stable during the operation. For this, it is necessary to follow some technical security measures. Multiple users attempting to inappropriately update data at the same time can pose a major threat to data integrity.

Increased Vulnerability

Although DBMS is centralized and can help in performing various tasks, it also increases vulnerability at times. In the case of certainty, if a single component encounters problems, the entire database system may face difficulties or may even shut down. This can be a major drawback for companies that rely entirely on databases.

Lower Efficiency

Generally, software or programs like traditional file systems are designed to fulfill a certain need or perform a specific task. However, Database Management System (DBMS) is designed for many data-related purposes and as a result, has become less efficient.

In terms of efficiency, specialized software are more efficient as they are developed and optimized for certain limited tasks or applications.


This article discussed more than 10 disadvantages of DBMS (Database Management System). Like a coin, DBMS also has two sides, advantages, and disadvantages. Although it has considerable drawbacks or limitations, it is still widely used by many leading organizations and will be used more extensively in the future.

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