What Is the Role of the Database Management System in Information Systems?

by Contributing Writer; Updated September 26, 2017

Without a database management system organizing, controlling and cataloging data, an information system would be an organized conglomeration of data. The ultimate role of a database management system is to implement controls and provide maintenance to data files using data security to ensure integrity of data.

Cataloging of File Structures

The process of cataloging files in a database management system (DBMS) is extremely important. There are various file types, which range from actual computer code and query programs (which extract information) to system utility and record maintenance programs. All of these programs have a unique file structure, which is identified by a system schematic or "schema." Without the process of a file structure, files would be hard to access and operate. A file structure within a (DBMS) provides an orderly structure for file access and management.

Identification of Database Types

A DBMS system can consist of various database types. A database holds the record structure of information. Databases within a DBMS can be an indexed, sequential or relational database. An index database is based on a primary key and can be indexed on any unique field within the database structure. A sequential database is accessed by starting at the very first record in the database and a relational database consists of records, which can be joined to other existing records in another database based on unique identifiers. The DBMS allows for partitioning, cataloging and access for these database types.

Data Security

Data security is an important feature for any information system. A DBMS provides security tables, which are records designated for user information, identification and passwords. The security system is constructed from relational database tables and each condition (user access codes) must be met in each table for a user to access the system. DBMS systems can have built-in security applications, which assign user rights and privileges by using a table of authorities in the system utility applications.

Tables and Records

Within a DBMS, all databases have assigned records. Records are classified as item or detail records. Item records are general information records and detail records focus on a field identifier within the item record and provide extra “detailed” information on the field and generated its record from the item record. Tables are structures on which item and detail records exist. An example of an item and detail record is a description of furniture on a database consisting of general data fields for shipping, payment, etc., and a corresponding detail record, which further breaks down the furniture into various colors.

Integrity of Data Sets

If an information system is a transaction based processing system, data sets are created to catalog changes in data initiated by users to the system with all changes reporting on a transaction exception report. Data is collected, distributed and processed using batch or real-time methods. If it is a batch routine, most organizations will update their systems once a day while, with a real-time system, updates can be added immediately.

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