Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS

By Mona Kumari|Updated : April 19th, 2022

Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS: DBMS or database management system is software that is used to manage the database. To store, manage, and retrieve data we use DBMS. In this article, we will learn about the difference between DBMS and RDBMS which is a database management systems and relational database management systems respectively. We have a humongous amount of data on the internet, our systems, servers, etc do you ever think about where this data is stored? How are we able to access the data? All these questions will be well answered while learning the difference between DBMS and RDBMS.

Before starting with the difference between DBMS and RDBMS, let’s understand some basics about databases. To organize data we have various types of DBMS software such as Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc. This software is used in various applications to manage data. Also, we have different DBMS systems available in the market like flat-file systems, RDBMS(Relational DBMS), Hierarchal DBMS, Network DBMS, etc out of these variants we will only focus on the difference between DBMS and RDBMS.

Table of Content

What is DBMS?

The database is a collection of inter-related data that is used to retrieve, insert and delete the data efficiently. It organizes the data in the form of a table, schema, views, reports, etc. It provides an interface to perform various tasks like creating databases, manipulating of data, updating data, storing data, etc.

Tasks that DBMS allows its user to perform

DBMS allows its user to perform various tasks on a vast variety of data. Operations that a user can perform to update, alter, delete, retrieve data in a DBMS system are discussed below:

  • Data Definition: DBMS allows users to create, modify and organize data in the database.
  • Data Updation: Users can insert, modify and update actual data.
  • Retrieval of data: One can retrieve data using database queries.

What is RDBMS?

RDBMS stands for the relational database management system, it is called so because it uses the relational model for storing, accessing, and retrieving data. This model is based on the twelve rules introduced by E.F. Codd. If the database follows all the rules then it is termed a true relational database (RDBMS). Following are the rules:

  • The foundation rule.
  • Information rule
  • Guaranteed access rule
  • Systematic treatment of null values
  • Dynamic online catalog based on the relational model
  • Comprehensive data sublanguage rule
  • View updating rule
  • Relational level operation rule
  • Physical data independence rule
  • Logical data independence rule
  • Integrity independence rule
  • Distribution independence rule
  • Non-subversionon rule

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

Knowing about the DBMS(database management system) and RDBMS(relational database management system) now we can discuss the difference between them.



Data is stored in file format

Data is stored in relations/table format

Individual data values can be accessed

Multiple data elements can be accessed together

Normalization of data helps in removing data repetition and redundancy

Normalization is not present in RDBMS

Data is stored in small quantity

Data is stored in large quantity

It supports single-user access.

It supports multiple user access.

Data fetching is slower

Data fetching is fast because of the relational approach

Low security of data

Multiple levels of security for data in RDBMS

There is no relation between data elements in DBMS

Data is stored in the form of tables, therefore data is linked in RDBMS

Examples: XML, HTML, Window Registry, etc.

Examples: SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.

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  • The basic difference between DBMS and RDBMS is that in the manner data is stored. DBMS store data in key- value pair whereas RDBMS stores data in the form of relations/tables.

  • Some widely used RDBMS systems are SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL and Oracle. These RDBMS systems are used in range of web and desktop applications.

  • There exists many difference between DBMS and RDBMS but in terms of speed or accessing speed of data RDBMS provides faster access because of tabular organization of data while DBMS has slow access speed.

  • E.F. Codd proposed 12 rules/ protocols to define a model as RDBMS. If a model follows all the 12 rules then it is termed a true RDBMS model.

  • In terms of security RDBMS provides more security to data than DBMS. RDBMS follows layered approach to protect the integrity and correctness of data. In DBMS data security is not ensured to the user.

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