A relational database management system (RDBMS) is a database management system (DBMS) that is based on a relational model i. e. a model that provides opportunities for links between tables. Similarly, a database management system can be described as one or more computer programs, ranging in size, which has a general purpose of managing a database. Certain operations that the DMBS performs include saving and editing the database. DBMS packages are used in the workplace and at home for accounting, computer systems, stock checking etc.

Relational databases require little or no assumptions about how data is related or how it might be extracted from the database. Consequently, the same database can be seen from many different angles. Another significant feature of relational systems is that one database can be extended across more than one table. This is the major difference between relational and flat-file databases, where each database stands on its own in its own single table. Such is their popularity, almost all large scale database systems are now RDBMS.

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Some small businesses still use alternatives, however, but these designs provide less flexibility (in using queries in particular). Relation in databases can be described by Codd's 12 rules. Edgar F. Codd was one of the creators of the relational model. His rules effectively summarize relational databases and set a standard for what is considered relational in database terms. (Figure 1). Earlier models did not conform to all of Codd's rules, so the term ‘relational database’ gradually came to describe faithful implementations of Codd’s rules.

Examples include The PRTV (1973-1979) and its predecessor The IBM IS1 (1970-1972). Also, Multics Relational Data Store (1978), Berkeley Ingres QUEL and IBM BS12 are notable programs. Systems Whereas RDBMS products focus on efficient management of data, using a limited amount of data types, object-orientated systems allow software creators to integrate their own methods and custom data types into the program, temporarily or permanently. They can essentially implement their own level of abstraction at which they personally view the particular problem or problem domain.

Over time, as systems have improved, the relational database has always stayed one step ahead of object-orientated databases and the main benefits of RDBMS is that they can present data to the viewer in a relation format which makes understanding, comparisons, alterations and decision-making easier for businesses and individuals alike. The way that data is presented to the user is a popular feature of the relational database; tabular form, i. e. collection of tables where each table consists of rows and columns.

This is a simple advantage that obviously helps to sell the product and as object-orientated DBMS do not offer this service, RDBMS have become more popular. More complex functions that the RDBMS offers include the ability to customize queries. This is a straightforward advantage but a useful one nevertheless. Another advantage the traditional RDBMS holds over object-orientated models is that the relational model can easily assemble related records when required. The object database would struggle to do this as efficiently.

It is ease-of-use differences like these that definitely help to stand the relational model out from its competitors. Excellent user-friendliness is definitely a factor that has maintained the relational database’s popularity. Although there are many factors that do definitely improve the relational database’s image, the model does still have drawbacks; basically the inverse of the above. For example, although the relational model is easy to use, this feature limits the complexity of the software.

This may be a drawback for businesses and professionals that may wish to employ complex features to create a more customized database. There aren’t many complaints about RDBMS, but one is that they are too static - the new generation of ‘dynamic relational’ database systems (not conforming to Codd’s rules – therefore not a ‘true’ relational database model) will include features such as columns that can be specially sized, created, modified and dynamically typed. This will simplify database usage when combining with dynamic programming languages (PHP, Perl, Ruby, etc).

ORDMBS have also added new object storage capabilities to their systems. These new facilities improve the ability to manage data, (including time-series data and geospatial data) and media (audio, images, video etc). An ORDBMS server can now complete complex data manipulation operations to multimedia and other complex objects. The current RDBMSs cannot do this at the moment, so in the future it will once again need to adapt to maintain its customer popularity. One final point to consider is that ORDBMS are, almost without exception, more expensive than RDBMS.

This will obviously be an important factor that the customer considers before buying their chosen product. Conclusion During this examination of database models, I have discovered that the relational database has many advantages such as tabular form, easy-to-use layout etc. ORDBMS definitely require advanced interface work to benefit the customer but the main factor that I suspect would be most popular with customers is simply the quality of the production of the various relational models.

The functions that the product offers obviously help too, however, and I rate the inclusion of SQL as the query language in most relational databases as a deciding factor. Alphora's Dataphor is an alternative and it does follow all of Codd’s rules (so therefore it can be recognised as a RDBMS) and it is newer introductions to the relational database market like this that help to keep RDBMS so popular. There are successful object-orientated models too, these include most products that have at their foundation aspects of ‘SQL: 1999’.

For example, IBM's DB2 and the Microsoft SQL Server. These have been successful without conforming to all of Codd’s relational rules. So, although the object-orientated models are also improving, they seem too complicated and technical for the average user to operate efficiently. They have more functions for the user to use, but first the user needs to understand how to use the model and unless the user has a background in I. C. T, they will need to spend a lot of time to appreciate the new object-orientated models.

Varying levels of complexity, in my opinion, is why the relational database still forms the basis for most commercially successful DBMS products today. ORDBMSs have not yet entered the mainstream, and only users skilled in I. C. T can operate them effectively by exploiting their advanced features. If the general interface of ORDBMS does become more user-friendly then we may see a shift in the popularity of RDBMS and ORDBMS.