Types of Relational Database Management Systems

By Victoria Van Harlingen

Laptop with database record
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There are two main users of relational database management systems. The first is end users who buy a complete database package for their specific need. The second are developers who will use the system as part of another application, often web based.

Relational databases can be very simple or very complex. Some run on simple PC platforms, others require sophisticated information technology systems. All of them make it possible to organize any type of information by defining data into three main types: character, numeric or date.

Today's database needs are further defined into three main types: small footprint databases, speed and scalability databases and broad data support databases.

Small Footprint Relational Databases

GPS - limited memory and restricted storage
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Small footprint relational databases are designed for handheld and embedded devices.They work with the architecture of mobile and other embedded devices and have limited storage space and restricted memory. These small footprint relational databases may also synchronize data with central databases. For example, a wireless handheld device may need to communicate with a corporate database at headquarters.

Fast and Scalable Relational Database

UPC codes collect retail transaction data.
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Scalability means predictable performance as the number of users or the size of the database increases. Server centric applications such as those used by large retail organizations require relational databases that provide superior speed and scalability.

Broad Support for Many Data Types

Online shopping sites use complex interrelations.
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The third type of relational database provides broad support for many types of data. These relational databases allow searches of data with complex interrelations. As you might expect, they are server-centric databases.