A database (DB):

It is a collection of information that is organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed and updated. I.e. an organized collection of information or set of data that is required for a specific purpose that is fundamental to a system, project or an enterprise. Can also be defined as an organized set of data items that reduces duplications of the stored records, unlike the integrated file systems, in which case several inter-dependent files are maintained for
the different user requirements.

Database Management system (DBMS):

A database management system (DBMS) is a software package designed to define, manipulate, retrieve and manage data in a database. I.e. It enables users to create, store, modify and retrieve information from a database. A DBMS generally manipulates the data itself, the data format, field names, record structure and file structure. It also
defines rules to validate and manipulate this data.

The DBMS serves as the intermediary between the user and the database. The database structure itself is stored as a collection of files, So, we can access the data in those files through the DBMS. The DBMS receives all application requests and translates them into the complex operations required to fulfill those requests. The DBMS hides much of the database’s internal complexity from the application programs and users.  Some other DBMS examples include:

i. MySQL
ii. SQL Server
iii. Oracle
iv. dBase
v. MS Access
vi. FoxPro


Enhance data integrity: because only one file is maintained and adequate checks are easily incorporated into the system hence ensuring that the data is accurate, consistent and up to date.

 Reduces data redundancy:

Unnecessary duplication of data is avoided because only one file is maintained and each record has an index which uniquely identifies it.
High data access speed:

DBMS maintains only one file and therefore takes a shorter time to retrieve a record of interest.
Sharing of data:

DBMS enables the sharing of data by ensuring that numerous people access the same information.

 Centralized management:

The database is normally available in one central location which makes it easier for the database administrator to control and manage the database.
Enhancing security:

It enables the organizations to enforce security mechanisms such as passwords which ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed to access the database.
Conflict resolution:

Through the database administrator conflicts that arise are easily resolved.
Data Independence:

This refers to the fact that it is possible to modify the data structure without modifying the program that created them and this simplifies system maintenance.
ix. Better data integration: Wider access to well-managed data promotes an integrated view of the organization’s operations and a clearer view of the big picture. It becomes much easier to see how actions in one segment of the company affect other segments.
Minimized data inconsistency:

Data inconsistency exists when different versions of the same data appear in different places. The probability of data inconsistency is greatly reduced in a properly designed database.
xi. Improved data access: The DBMS makes it possible to produce quick answers to ad hoc queries. From a database perspective, a query is a specific request issued to the DBMS for data manipulation—for example, to read or update the data. Simply put, a query is a question, and an ad hoc query is a spur-of-the-moment question. The DBMS sends back an answer (called the query result set) to the application.
Improved decision making:

Better-managed data and improved data access make it possible to generate better-quality information, on which better decisions are based. The quality of the information generated depends on the quality of the underlying data. Data quality is a comprehensive approach to promoting the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of the data. While the DBMS does not guarantee data quality, it provides a framework to facilitate data quality initiatives.

Increased end-user productivity:

The availability of data, combined with the tools that transform data into usable information, empowers end users to make quick, informed decisions that can make the difference between success and failure in the global economy.


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