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Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024

Characteristics of Database Approach in DBMS

Dbms - Database management systems
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Greetings Ninja, Do you know the characteristics of Database Approach and why it is followed? The database approach has become increasingly popular today to the growing need for data storage and retrieval in various industries. Today, in this article, we will understand the database approach's key characteristics and its advantages and disadvantages in detail.

Characteristics of Database Approach in DBMS

What is Database Approach?

database approach

The Database approach refers to structuring and managing data by creating a single centralized collection of data that can be accessed and updated by various users and applications simultaneously.

For example, For an employee database of a company with 100 employees the employee details table can be linked with Office department table, Development team table and Office location table simultaneously rather than having separate tables (300 records, which can result in wastage of resources).

Similarly For a 'students' database, the class teacher can only access the data of the students of her class, whereas the principal can access the data of all students of the school present in the 'students' database.

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Why did the Database approach replace the File Management system?

file management system

The conventional File management system was replaced by the advanced database approach due to the following reasons:

  • The conventional file management system resulted in repetitions of data and hence the wastage of plenty of resources
  • Unlike the database approach where the data is stored in an application software, in a file management system it is stored in the hard disk of the computer.
  • Also sharing of data is quite complex in the File management system when compared to that in the database approach.
  • Thus came the database approach. In the database approach, the data is organized in tables which can be manipulated with the help of queries, thus increasing the efficiency of the database. The queries in the file management system are not as efficient.
  • Data backup feature is more advanced in the database approach than the file management system.
  • Lastly the data in the file management system is not as secure as in the database approach.

Characteristics of Database Approach

The database approach includes key features that ensure data accuracy, consistency, integrity, security, etc. Let us now understand some of the important characteristics of Database Approach separately.

The characteristics of Database approach are as follows:

  • Data Organization and self-describing nature of database system
  • Integrity of Data
  • Data Independence
  • Data Security
  • Data consistency with centralised management system
  • Sharing of data 
  • Query and report flexibility
  • Scalibility and performance of the database 

Data Organization and self-describing nature of Database system

The database approach stores data in a structured and organized manner. It uses the database management system to create, design and maintain data logically and consistently. The database approach also comes with the characteristic of a self-describing nature of a database system. That is, the database not only contains the data and the tables but a thorough description of the entire database in the form of metadata.

For example the database of any ecommerce company contains data of its customers and vendors in the form of tables which are linked with foreign keys.

Integrity Of Data

Data integrity means the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire lifecycle. The database approach emphasizes data integrity through the use of various methods such as data validation, data normalization, the use of queries, and referential integrity. These techniques ensure that data is accurate, consistent, and free from errors or duplicates. Data Integrity prevents human errors, transfer errors and data verification errors.

For example the database of any ecommerce company maintains the accuracy and consistency of data inserted in tables because of the property of data Integrity.

Data Independence

Data independence is another vital characteristic of the database approach. Data independence means that the database structure and design are independent of the application programs that use it. Any modifications to the database structure will not affect the application programs and vice versa. This property makes modifying and updating the database easier without disrupting the application software's functioning.

For example in the database of an online food ordering company, the database can be modified without affecting the consumer side of the website because of the characteristic of data independence.

There are two types of data independence in the database approach:

Physical data independence: With Physical data independence, it is possible to switch the storage device of the database without resulting in any impact on the logical level.

Logical data independence: With Logical data independence, we can change the logical structure of the database without the need to rewrite the application programs.  

Data Security

Data security is a critical aspect of the database approach. A database management system provides various security measures such as authentication, authorization, and encryption to protect data from unauthorized access, tampering, or data breaches. This makes it easier to identify the user and control who has access to data and what they can do with it, thus making the data more secure. 

The database approach also provides a good backup and data recovery feature. This is achieved with techniques like database backups, replication, and transaction logs.

For example the data of customers in the database of any ecommerce company has a high backup facility and the data is securely stored in the database.

Data Consistency with centralized data management

All the data in the database approach is stored in a single centralized location rather than in separate files. This characteristic of centralized data management contributes to data consistency by storing data in a standardized format. Also, the database is updated and manipulated from a single location. The database stored at a centralized computer system can be accessed through an internet connection. Thus coordination of data becomes a lot easier and simpler here.

Sharing of Data

Data sharing is one of the essential aspects of the database approach. Here, data can be shared among multiple users and applications simultaneously. It also reduces the need to store duplicate data in various locations, which can lead to inconsistencies and errors. 

Data sharing with multiple users can occur with techniques like concurrency and locking control. This enhances collaboration and efficiency. During locking locks specific data from being accessed by any other user while it is being updated, concurrency control handles the access to data by numerous users by applying the strategy of time stamping and pessimistic and optimistic concurrency control. 

For example, in an online food ordering website multiple users can add food to their cart and order food at the same time allowing multiple users to access the same database.

Query and Report Flexibility

The database approach also offers users query and report flexibility, allowing them to fetch and analyze data efficiently. Queries can be used to perform CRUD operations like creating, reading, updating, and deleting actions or filtering data according to the requirement.

The flexibility of report means the database approach offers tools to generate customized interactive reports in formats like graphs, tables, and charts that analyze data more easily. Here we can define our own dimension metrics for the data.

For example, you can read the data of employees with salary greater than 10000 from a employees table using the query:

Select * from employees where salary>10000;

Scalability and Performance of the Database

Scalability refers to handling increasing or decreasing amounts of data without affecting system performance. That is, the size of the database can be modified as per the need.

Techniques used by the database approach to provide scalability are:-

1.) Indexing: Indexing is used to improve the searching time of a query in a database. Usually, when a database is scaled, it is divided into several partitions. With indexing, each division can quickly fetch the data needed by it.

2.) Partitioning: This technique is used to divide a more extensive database into smaller sections, also known as partitions. Partitioning helps manage the database traffic by distributing the load among multiple partitions.

3.) Clustering: It is another technique used in scaling where smaller partitions of data are clustered together to improve the performance of the database.

These techniques assure that data can be accessed quickly and efficiently, even as the size of the database grows, thus benefiting growing companies to manage their data more productivity. With horizontal scaling and vertical, servers and resources can be added to the database to handle the load.

Advantages of the Database Approach

The database approach has many advantages that lead to better business results and a competitive advantage in today's data-driven world. Some of the advantages of the database approach are as follows.

  • Efficient data management: Following the database approach makes it easier to manage and update data as it is stored in a centralized memory, thus allowing faster access to data. Hence efficient data management is achieved.
  • Refined data quality: The database approach has tools that enforce data integrity and consistency, thus ensuring the accuracy of data being inserted in the database. This increases the quality of data by reducing the risk of errors.
  • Enhanced productivity: With the tools offered by the database approach, the data can be accessed faster and easier, thus reducing the time and effort required to fetch and analyze the information. This, in turn, enhances productivity by decreasing the time spent on data management.
  • Better decision-making: With the database approach, data can be analyzed in various ways allowing us to analyze every option, thus leading to better decision-making.
  • Increased data security: With the database approach, we can control the access to data ensuring that the sensitive data is well protected from unauthorized access. This increases data security, preventing any data breaches.
  • Scalability: The database storage can be expanded or contracted per the memory and data processing requirement. This scalability benefits growing businesses to adapt their databases according to their needs.

Disadvantages of using the Database Approach

The disadvantages of database approach are:

  • Cost of implementation and maintenance: Implementing and maintaining the database approach can be quite expensive, especially for small, growing businesses with limited resources. There is the cost of hardware, software, licensing, etc.
  • Increased complexity of database system: The database approach can be very complex regarding queries. Even maintaining data consistency can be challenging. Also, with the advancement in technology, the complexity may increase.
  • Need for a data analyst: The complexity and involvement of technology in the database approach introduces the need for a specialized expert or a data analyst, which can be pretty expensive for the business.
  • Risk of data loss: Databases can be subjected to vulnerable security threats such as malware, hacking, etc.
  • Increased dependence on technology: The database system is highly dependent on technology in the database approach. The disruption of technology can anytime lead to the failure of the entire database, thereby resulting in data loss or corruption.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by the database approach?

The Database approach refers to structuring and managing data by creating a single centralized collection of data that can be accessed and updated by various users and applications simultaneously. It makes the database more efficient.

Mention the key characteristics of database approach.

The key characteristics of database approach are Data Independence, Data organization, the self-describing nature of the database, Data Security, Data sharing with multiple users, query flexibility, and scalability.

What is the main purpose of the database approach?

The main purpose of the database approach includes the sharing of data among multiple users and applications at the same time. This increases productivity and makes the database more efficient.

Briefly explain the role of data integrity and how it is achieved in the database approach.

Data Integrity increases the accuracy and consistency of data. It also ensures that the data inserted in the database is error-free. This is achieved by techniques such as data validation, data normalization, the use of queries, and referential integrity.

Why did the conventional file management system fail?

The conventional file management system led to data duplication and hence wastage of many resources, which was the main reason for its failure. Thus the database approach was introduced with more features and characteristics.


In this article we have discussed the characteristics of database approach in DBMS. We have also discussed how they can be advantageous for businesses.

Never stop learning! We recommend you check out some of our other database-related articles. 

  1. Introduction to DBMS
  2. Fundamentals of Database System
  3. DBMS interview questions
  4. Aggregation in DBMS
  5. Joins in dbms


Refer to our Guided Path to enhance your knowledge in DSACompetitive ProgrammingJavaScriptSystem Design, and many more! If you want to test your competency in coding, you may check out the mock test series and participate in the contests hosted on Coding Ninjas Studio!

You can also consider our Database Management Course to give your career an edge over others!

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