Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS (With Table)

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Collecting and organizing data has been into existence for a long time. The collection, storage, and accessibility of the data through an electronic mode from a computer system is called a database.

A database is any which contains data about a particular area of analysis or study. The database also has a set of applications connected to it, which collectively is called a database system.

Database management systems came into existence during the early 1960s. It is a software program that was developed to work on the data in the database.

It was a comprehensive software that helped the users by connecting the application and the database for analysis. It was a versatile move from the technology field which offered the users the flexibility of accessing any database at will.

The technology world had come up with many database systems like Database Management System (DBMS) and upgraded versions of it called Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) for ease of use. It would also be wise enough to say RDBMS is the extension of DBMS.

Many software products are compliant with both DBMS and RDBMS. They both function hand in hand most of the times, however, there are many differences between the two.


The difference between DBMS and RDBMS is that DBMS is a software which is used to store any data and manage it. RDBMS is an advance version of DBMS which is used to store and manage the data that are only to be stored in tables; in the form of rows and columns.


Comparison Table Between DBMS and RDBMS (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonDBMSRDBMS
Storage and StructureDatabase Management System Stores data as file internally. A DBMS system stores the data either in the hierarchical form or navigational form.In Relational Database Management System, the data is stored in the tabular form. As it uses a tabular form, the structure is also tabular one where headers are the names of the columns and rows are the respective corresponding values.
Number of UsersDBMS is restricted to a single userRDBMS is a multiple user system.
ACID ModelDBMS does not follow the ACID model of storing the data, thus develops inconsistencies in the database.RDBMS is structured to follow the ACID model and it is harder to construct but maintains consistencies.
Hardware and Software requirementsDBMS is less hardware and software dependent.RDBMS requires high hardware and software needs.
Well Suited forDBMS is suited well for data of small quantityRDBMS can handle large and complex data too.


What is DBMS?

DBMS, abbreviated as Database Management System is a software application or a package that helps define, retrieve, manipulate, and manage data in a database. DBMS manipulates the data all by itself, the data format as well as the field names along with the file structure.

DBMS considers good security measures while storing and retrieving data. The task is simple, DBMS accepts the request of data from an application and in turn, DBMS raises command to the OS to provide the requested data.

DBMS is flexible enough to allow its users to create their databases. The requirement of the database is the choice of the user for which he can create a comprehensive one using DBMS.

It is indeed a system software to create and manage a database with the instruction of the user. The same database can be modified, updated, and also deleted as per the requirement.

The three important functionalities of DBMS that it manages are, the data itself, the database engine that helps accessed and modified, and the database schema. A database schema defines the structure of the database’s logical structure.

DBMS can conveniently offer logical and physical data independence. It can easily protect the users from knowing where the data is stored and also about the physical structure of the data.

DBMS requires less hardware and software support. The major advantage of DBMS is, it can quickly recover the data from crashes and errors.


What is RDBMS?

Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)is the advanced version of DBMS that came into existence in the mid-1970s. It is indeed observed that the RDBMS system to access the data more efficiently than the DBMS system.

The RDBMS is used to store only those data which is ought to be stored and it is done in tabular form. RDBMS follows tuples and forms to store the data, that is, the data is managed as rows and columns.

It is in fact, a powerful data management system utilized across the world. RDBMS indeed is a subset of DBMS as it is designed for relational databases.

The format of storing in rows and columns is convenient to access specific values in the database. It is called relational because every value is related to each other.

The relational functionality runs throughout. The values are not only related to each other, but the tables are also related to each other. This enhances the user to run multiple queries across the tables at once.

RDBMS mainly functions on adding, searching, and updating the values in the tables. The visual representation of the data may also be customized, it can also be viewed as a spreadsheet, where the modifications can be done easily.

Main Differences Between DBMS and RDBMS

  1. The functionality of DBMS and RDBMS is of prime importance in a computer performance to accessing and managing the database, however, they have a few differences between the two. The main difference between a DBMS and an RDBMS is, DBMS stores the data as files while RDBMS stores the data in the tabular form.
  2. The data in DBMS while stores do not follow the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) model and it creates inconsistencies in the database whereas the RDBMS utilizes the ACID model for managing the database and thus it is well structured and consistent.
  3. DBMS supports single user only while the RDBMS supports multi-users.
  4. Moreover, client-server architecture cannot be supported by DBMS while the RDBMS readily supports the client-server architecture.
  5. Fetching of data for the DBMS from a large, complex database is very slow while RDBMS is fast.



The observation of the difference between DBMS and RDBMS gives a hint that RDBMS is an extension of DBMS in its performance. Many software products are available in the market that is compatible with both.

DBMS can handle a small quantity of data while RDBMS can handle large and complex data. For this reason, small companies are happy with the DBMS system while large companies require the support of RDBMS for larger analysis.

The cost factor too is to be considered. DBMS is too less expensive compared to complex hardware and software required RDBMS. DBMS being slow only for the complex data, while it is a good system to access data at a good speed. 



  1. https://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/definition/RDBMS-relational-database-management-system