DBMS Utilities | Purpose of DBMS

DBMS Utilities

 A data loading utility: 

    Which allows easy loading of data from the external format without writing programs. 

A backup utility: 

    Which allows to make copies of the database periodically to help in cases of crashes and disasters. 

Recovery utility: 

    Which allows to reconstruct the correct state of database from the backup and history of transactions. 

Monitoring tools: 

    Which monitors the performance so that internal schema can be changed and database access can be optimized.  

File organization

    Which allows restructuring the data from one type to another? 

Purpose of DBMS 

Drawbacks of using file systems to store data: 

  • Data redundancy and inconsistency 
  • Multiple file formats, duplication of information in different files 
  • Difficulty in accessing data 
  • Need to write a new program to carry out each new task 
  • Data isolation - multiple files and formats 
  • Integrity problems 
  • Integrity constraints (e.g. account balance > 0) become part of program code 
  • Hard to add new constraints or change existing ones 

Drawbacks of using file systems (cont.) 

  • Atomicity of updates 
  • Failures may leave database in an inconsistent state with partial updates carried out 
  • E.g. transfer of funds from one account to another should either complete or not happen at all 
  • Concurrent access by multiple users 
  • Concurrent accessed needed for performance 
  • Uncontrolled concurrent accesses can lead to inconsistencies 
  • E.g. two people reading a balance and updating it at the same time 
  • Security problems 
  • Database systems offer solutions to all the above problems


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