What Is the Software That Controls the Structure of a Database and Access to the Data?


Angela Bailey

The software that controls the structure of a database and access to the data is known as a Database Management System (DBMS). A DBMS is a software application that allows users to create, manipulate, and manage databases. It provides an interface for interacting with the database, performing tasks such as creating tables, defining relationships between tables, inserting data, retrieving data, and updating data.

Types of DBMS

There are different types of DBMS available, each with its own specific features and capabilities. Some of the commonly used types include:

  • Relational DBMS (RDBMS): This type of DBMS organizes data into tables with rows and columns. It uses structured query language (SQL) for managing the database.
  • Hierarchical DBMS: In this type of DBMS, data is organized in a tree-like structure where each record has a parent-child relationship.
  • Network DBMS: Similar to hierarchical DBMS, network DBMS also organizes data in a tree-like structure.

    However, it allows multiple parent-child relationships.

  • Object-Oriented DBMS (OODBMS): This type of DBMS stores data in objects rather than tables. It supports object-oriented programming concepts such as inheritance and encapsulation.

Functions of a DBMS

A DBMS performs several functions to ensure efficient management and access to the database:

  • Data Definition Language (DDL): DDL statements are used to define and modify the structure of the database. It includes commands like CREATE TABLE, ALTER TABLE, and DROP TABLE.
  • Data Manipulation Language (DML): DML statements are used to insert, retrieve, update, and delete data from the database.

    Common DML commands include SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.

  • Data Control Language (DCL): DCL statements control access to the database by defining user permissions and privileges. Examples of DCL commands are GRANT and REVOKE.
  • Data Query Language (DQL): DQL statements are used to retrieve data from the database. The most commonly used DQL statement is SELECT.

Advantages of Using a DBMS

Using a DBMS offers several advantages over traditional file-based systems:

  • Data Integrity: A DBMS ensures data integrity by enforcing constraints such as uniqueness, referential integrity, and domain constraints.
  • Data Security: DBMS provides security features like authentication and authorization to protect the database from unauthorized access.
  • Data Consistency: A DBMS ensures that data remains consistent across multiple tables by enforcing relationships between tables.
  • Data Independence: With a DBMS, applications can be developed independently of the underlying database structure through the use of APIs and query languages.


In conclusion, a Database Management System (DBMS) is essential for controlling the structure of a database and providing access to the data. It offers various types and functions that cater to different requirements.

By using a DBMS, organizations can efficiently manage their data while ensuring integrity, security, consistency, and independence. Understanding these concepts is crucial for anyone involved in working with databases or aspiring to become a database professional.

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