DBMS vs. RDBMS and DBMS vs. file system

Soumya Agrawal
Last Updated: May 13, 2022


Before heading towards the differences, let’s understand what they mean.

Database Management System(DBMS) is a computerized system for storing data or software to manage the database. Now, what do you mean by database?

The database collects data used to store, retrieve, or delete the data and organize it in tables, reports, etc. In Database Management System, the data can be fetched by SQL queries and relational algebra.

Some popular databases are used in different applications, for example, MySQL.



Before heading towards the differences, here is what RDBMS is. 

Relational database management system(RDBMS) is the extension of DBMS based on the relational model as introduced by E. F. Codd. It gives users the ability to update, query, and administer a relational database.


A File System is a way of organizing files on a storage disk like flash drives, hard drives. It can differ between operating systems macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux systems. File systems consist of different files which are grouped into directories.


Example of a file tree diagram


Pic from techtarget.


Difference between DBMS and File System

DBMSFile System
DBMS is a collection of data. Over here, the user is not required to write the procedures.The file system is a collection of data, Where the user has to write the procedures which can lead to loss of data also.
It gives the abstract view of data that hides the details.It provides the details of data representation and storage of data.
DBMS provides the crash mechanism, i.e., DBMS protects the user from system failure.In a file system, it doesn’t have a crash recovery mechanism.
DBMS provides a good protection mechanism.It is tough to protect a file system.
It contains a wide variety of sophisticated technology to store and retrieve the data.It can’t efficiently store and retrieve the data.
It takes care of concurrent access of data using some form of locking.Concurrent access in file system has many problems, like redirecting the file while deleting some information and updating some data.


It has a higher cost than the file system.It is less expensive than DBMS.


Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

It is system software for creating, storing, managing, updating, and retrieving data from databases.It is software that allows the creation and management of databases in a tabular format.
It uses file system to store data, so there will be no relation between the tables.Here, data values are stored in tables, so a relationship between these data values will be there.
There is no normalization present in DBMSNormalization is present in RDBMS.
It cannot store a large amount of data.It allows users to store a large amount of data.
More prone to data theft.RDBMS supports security measures.
DBMS does not support client-server architecture.RDBMS support client-server architecture
Eg- xml, window registry, etc.Eg- Oracle, MYSQL, SQL Server, etc.


RDBMS is a different software with better tools and features but serves the same purpose as a DBMS. 


  1. What do you mean by SQL?
    Structured Query Language(SQL) is used for storing, manipulating, and retrieving data in databases. SQL is the standard language for Relational Database systems.
  2. Which one is better, DBMS or RDBMS?
    RDBMS is better as it is an improved version of DBMS; therefore, it is faster and efficient. 

Key Takeaways

This blog covers DBMS and the difference between DBMS and RDBMS, along with DBMS and file systems. With this done, you must give a read to these articles for more clarity.

DBMS is one of the essential fields that you must train yourself in or have substantial knowledge about. One of the most important and asked topics in interview rounds.

Don't stop here, Ninja; check out the Top 100 SQL Problems to get hands-on experience with frequently asked interview questions and land your dream job.

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