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Vangie Beal
Last Updated May 24, 2021 7:53 am

RDBMS is an acronym for Relational Database Management System and is a type of database management system that stores data in a structured format using rows and columns, making it easy to locate and access data in relation to another piece of data in the database.

While a relational database describes the type of database, a RDBMS refers to the database software itself. It executes the queries on the data including adding, updating, and searching for values. It can also provide a visual representation of data.

Relational databases

A relational database is organized into tables that are used to hold information about the objects to be represented in the database. Each column in a table holds a certain kind of data, and a field stores the actual value or attribute. The rows represent a collection of related values of one object. Each row in a table can be marked with a unique identifier, and rows within multiple tables can be made related using foreign keys. The data of a relational database can be accessed in many ways without reorganizing the tables themselves. Important aspects of a relational database include:

  • Structured Query Language (SQL): The primary interface used to communicate with a relational database. It’s the standardized query language for requesting information from a database.
  • Data integrity: The overall completeness, accuracy, and consistency of data.
  • Database transactions: One or more SQL statements that are executed as a sequence of operations that form a single unit of work.
  • ACID compliance: All database transactions must be ACID compliant to ensure data integrity: Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, and Durable

Popular RDBMS vendors

  • MySQL: An open source RDBMS that relies on SQL for processing data in the database.
  • PostgreSQL: An open source database not controlled by any corporation. Typically used for web application development
  • Oracle DB: A multi-model database management system produced and marketed by Oracle Corporation
  • SQL Server: A RDBMS owned by Microsoft that is closed source
  • SQLite: A RDBMS contained in a C library. In contrast to many other database management systems, SQLite is not a client server database engine. Rather, it is embedded into the end program.