24Nov 2023

The Advantages And Disadvantages of RDBMS

A Sneak Peek into the History of RDBMS

In the year 1970, E.F. Codd invented the terminology ‘relational database’ at IBM. He referred to this term in one of his research papers, named ‘A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks’.1 You can find more references to what exactly relational means in this paper and the papers released later.

In fact, one of the most popular and widely used definitions of the elements of an RDBMS comprises Codd’s 12 rules. But most of these rules and the early models of the RDBMS seemed to be non-compliant, which led the term to be grouped under a broader class of database systems:

  • The data would be presented to the user in a tabular form, also known as relations, which is a collection of tables and each table consists of a set of rows and columns.
  • Relational operators would be provided to organize the data in the afore-mentioned tabular form.

Here are some of the implementations that were adopted as part of the early relational model systems:

  • Micro DBMS
  • IS1 (1970–72) and PRTV (1973–79)

It is known that the very first RDBMS system sold was Multics Relational Data Store followed by Ingres and IBM BS12.

Definition of RDBMS

Though not strictly based on relational theory, RDBMS is a product that showcases data arranged as a collection of rows and columns. And these RDBMS products follow some of the Codd’s 12 rules.

With an RDBMS, it is possible to embed a collection of programs or capabilities, enabling IT and other related teams to create, edit, update, manage and interrelate with a relational database.

Structured query language (SQL) is implemented by most commercial RDBMS systems for accessing the database. Some experts such as data scientists and data analysts are of the opinion that RDBMS can run by itself without the intervention of SQL as it was developed after the introduction of the relational model.

RDBMS in Terms of DBMS

RDBMS in terms of DBMS

RDBMS belongs to the database management system (DBMS) category. This kind of DBMS comprises a row-based table structure connecting related data elements and the essential functions to maintain security, accuracy, consistency, and integrity of the data.

What are the main functions of an RDBMS?

  •  It manages and deals with all relational databases
  •  Helps in communicating with the relational database engine

Features of RDBMS Systems:

  • All data stored in the tables are provided by an RDBMS
  • Ensures that all data stored are in the form of rows and columns
  • Facilitates primary key, which helps in unique identification of the rows
  • Index creation for retrieving data at a higher speed
  • Facilitates a common column to be shared amid two or more tables
  • Multi-user accessibility is facilitated to be controlled by individual users
  • A virtual table creation is enabled to store sensitive data and simplify queries

These features are the reasons why RDBMS is widely used across the world. In simple words, RDBMS is the software system that allows storing data in the form of tables. As we discussed, data stored within RDBMS is in the form of rows and columns and this kind of a setup is often referred to as tuples and attributes.

Functions of RDBMS:

We have understood the definition and the features of RDBMS. Let us now take a look at the function of RDBMS. 

  • Manage and handles all relational databases
  • Provides access simultaneously to multiple users for the same database
  • Data descriptions are given in a data dictionary
  • Maintains communications with the relational database engine
  • Sets user’s access rights by establishing security protocols
  • Undertake actions for regular data backup and recovery in case of problems.
  • Enhances data integrity by setting up structure and rules of databases.

What are the most popular Relational Databases?

Some of the most popular Relational databases in 2023 are as follows:

  • Oracle Database

Oracle Database

  • MySQL

  • SQL Server

  • PostgreSQL

  • SQLite

  • MariaDB

Let us examine how RDBMS and DBMS Differ


With DBMS, data is stored as a file, while RDBMS stores data in the form of tables.

Database Structure:

Data structure

Data is stored in a navigational or hierarchical form in DBMS, while RDBMS implements a tabular structure where the headers are used as columns names and the rows comprise the corresponding values.


While RDBMS can accommodate multiple users, DBMS allows only one user.


DBMS does not implement the Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability (ACID) model for storing data, which can bring about inconsistencies within the database. Whereas RDBMS is based upon the ACID model for consistency in a structure of the data.

Type of Program:

DBMS program manages databases present within the computer networks and system hard disks. RDBMS is a database system that helps in maintaining relationships with the tables.

Hardware and Software Needs:

DBMS exercises a lower software and hardware need; while with RDBMS, these needs are even higher.


Though RDBMS can be normalized, DBMS does not support normalization.

Distributed Databases:

RDBMS offers entire support for distributed databases, while DBMS does not support it.

Data Quantity:

DBMS can handle only small amounts of data, while RDBMS can handle any amount of data.

Compliance with Dr. E.F. Codd Rules:

RDBMS complies around 8 to 10 rules, while DBMS complies less than seven rules.


RDBMS offers a huge security, while DBMS offers zero security.


Examples of DBMS include file system, XML, Windows Registry. Some of the examples of RDBMS are SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and so on.

Now, you know why RDBMS came into the bigger picture and how it might be the perfect fit for your requirement.

We are going to provide deeper insights into the advantages and disadvantage of RDBMS.

Advantages of RDBMS

Data structure:

The tabular format of arranging the data simplifies the structure. The data is arranged in rows and columns neatly with headers explaining the nature of information. This not only helps with data organisation but also helps users with ease of accessibility.

Accessing the Network:

An RDBMS comprises a software program called server daemon, which has been specifically designed to capture requests sent over a network. The users need not get into the system themselves to retrieve the data. Instead, they can send data requests over the server daemon to find the data. Developers utilise this network access facility to create desktop tools and web apps to interact with databases.


RDBMS supports SQL (Structured Query Language), a standard language that uses simple syntax and English phrases and keywords. This further makes it easier to learn and interpret. Sometimes, RDBMS adds keywords, functions, and features to SQL to make it even cooler.


Web Icon Fonts



To start with, RDBMS was not the fastest database management system. However, over time, it improved in speed and performance with various optimisations that have been incorporated into the RDBMS along with the database design. Technological enhancements, decrease in memory and storage costs, and increase in processor speeds are some of the factors that contribute to helping technicians build faster systems.


A built-in automation system or automation tools within the RDBMS on the operating system helps in easy maintenance of the system. It helps the database admins or technicians to maintain, repair, control, test and even back up the databases that reside within their main system.

Multiple User Access

Multiple user access to the database at the same time is an advantage of RDBMS. As the data is being updated or changed, to overcome any possible crashes between more than one user working on the same data, it has a built-in locking feature to lock the part being updated. Also, it prevents users from using data that is being updated or partially updated.


With the authorisation and privilege control features in an RDBMS, the database administrator can restrict user access requests even from authorized users. But permissions can be assigned to individual users, taking into account the database activities they are intended to perform. The authorisation is also determined depending on the remote client IP address, combined with user authorisation.

ACID data storage model

ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) model of data storage helps with consistency in data structure.

Disadvantages of RDBMS


The expense of maintaining and even setting up a database system is relatively high and is one of the drawbacks of relational databases. Special software is required to set up a relational database, and this could cost a fortune.

Managing Complex Data

Managing huge volumes of data

The complication in information is another shortcoming of relational databases. The data arranged within relational databases are based on common characteristics like customer names and details. Complex data such as multimedia products, complicated images, numbers, and designs are difficult to arrange into the database.

Limitations in Field Length

Relational databases impose limits on field lengths. While designing the database, it is necessary that you specify the data volume you intend to introduce within any field. Thus, lengthy and detailed data might not fit into the field.

Storage constraints

It takes a lot of memory space to store data in tabular format with rows and columns.

Acodez is a web development company India offering all kinds of web-related services to our clients in India and abroad. We are also an SEO agency offering inbound marketing solutions, helping businesses take their journey to the next level. For further information, you can contact us today.

Looking for a good team
for your next project?

Contact us and we'll give you a preliminary free consultation
on the web & mobile strategy that'd suit your needs best.

Contact Us Now!
Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K

Jamsheer K, is the Tech Lead at Acodez. With his rich and hands-on experience in various technologies, his writing normally comes from his research and experience in mobile & web application development niche.

Get a free quote!

Brief us your requirements & let's connect

1 Comment

  1. Sekou Jabateh

    hi there,

    Thank you for the easy and clear explanation. Very easy to follow and well structured too.
    Very well appreciated!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *