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Features of DBMS


Data Dictionary

As well as storing the data itself, a database also stores metadata (data about data) as well. This is stored in the data dictionary and includes:

  • The names of all the tables
  • The column names for all of the tables
  • The data types for all the columns in each table
  • Data constraints within the tables (e.g. whether a field allows a NULL value)

The data dictionary can be edited visual using the DBMS



Database Modelling & Schema

Data Modelling & Logical Schema

Data modelling can be conducted visually using a Database Management System’s in-built modelling and is an important feature of a database management system.




Custom Views for different users

The database management system can be used to present different views of the database to different users.

Depending on who is accessing the database they might be able to view all data on the database, view only certain data and have write access. These views often consist of forms and reports

Form Views

Report Views

The output from a report generated by the DBMS



Database Security &  Integrity

Relational databases have a number of security advantages over flat file systems.

Automatic Backups

Relational databases can be configured to automatically backup to both local and remote storage, while preserving the database integrity. This is useful if multiple backups need to be merged to restore from a database corruption event.


Access Rights for users /groups

Individual users or groups of users can be given varying access to the database depending on their level and job role. Members of departments can be limited in what data they can access and also the nature of that access (such as read / write / execute / delete / append access). This allows for granular and compartmentalised design and control of the database system.

Query Log



DBMS Interfaces

There are 3 types of interfaces that the DBMS provide:

  • User Interface
  • Administrator Interface
  • Developer Interface

User Interface

This interface is designed for the end user. Input and viewing high controlled using  User Access Levels (UAL) so that they can only view and edit data related to their account. This inter

Add new user form. An example of the user interface.

Administrator Interface

The administrator interface is designed to allow a greater amount of access and functionality than the user interface but without needed to know how to execute SQL queries.

Example of the database administrator interface. Here existing tuples in the users table can be edited.


Developer Interface

Access to the developer interface allows detailed inspection of the database contents and metadata to be performed, mainly through the use of custom crafted SQL queries that can be executed within the developer interface.


Advanced Queries can be written directly using the SQL text based interface


Query Processor

Query Processor

The job of the query processor is to take the query text passed to it by other modules in the DBMS, parse the data and execute it in the appropriate manner.

  • DDL Queries, such CREATE & DROP, are passed to the DDL interpreter which then reads/modifies the contents of the data dictionary.
  • DML Queries, such as SELECT & INSERT, are passed to the DML compiler. These queries are compiled, optimised and then executed by the query engine.

Simple queries can be created using a Query By Example GUI Interface


The Query processor pathways for DML and DDL Queries