RDBMS Concepts

RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. A Relational Database management System(RDBMS) is a database management system based on relational model introduced by E.F Codd. In relational model, data is represented in terms of tuples(rows).

RDBMS is used to manage Relational database. RDBMS store the data into collection of tables, which might be related by common fields (database table columns). RDBMS also provide relational operators to manipulate the data stored into the database tables. Most RDBMS use SQL as database query language.
Edgar Codd introduced the relational database model. Many modern DBMS do not conform to the Codd’s definition of a RDBMS, but nonetheless they are still considered to be RDBMS.

What is Table ?

In Relational database, a table is a collection of data elements organised in terms of rows and columns. A table is a collection of related data held in a structured format within a database. It consists of fields (columns), and rows.In relational databases and flat file databases, a table is a set of data elements (values) using a model of vertical columns (which are identified by their name) and horizontal rows, the cell being the unit where a row and column intersect. A table has a specified number of columns, but can have any number of rows.Each row is identified by the values appearing in a particular column subset which has been identified as a unique key index.

ID Name Age Salary
1 Sunil 30 13000
2 Abdul 26 15000
3 Shruti 19 18000
4 Faize 40 19020

What is a Record ?

A single entry in a table is called a Record or Row. A Record in a table represents set of related data. For example, the above Employee table has 4 records. Following is an example of single record.

1 Adam 34 13000

What is Field ?

A table consists of several records(row), each record can be broken into several smaller entities known as Fields. The above Employee table consist of four fields, ID, Name, Age and Salary.

What is a Column ?

In Relational table, a column is a set of value of a particular type. The term Attribute is also used to represent a column. For example, in Employee table, Name is a column that represent names of employee.


Codd’s Rule

E.F Codd was a Computer Scientist who invented Relational model for Database management. Based on relational model, Relation database was created. Codd proposed 13 rules popularly known as Codd’s 12 rules to test DBMS’s concept against his relational model. Codd’s rule actualy define what quality a DBMS requires in order to become a Relational Database Management System(RDBMS). Till now, there is hardly any commercial product that follows all the 13 Codd’s rules. Even Oracle follows only eight and half out(8.5) of 13. The Codd’s 12 rules are as follows.

Rule zero

This rule states that for a system to qualify as an RDBMS, it must be able to manage database entirely through the relational capabilities.

Rule 1 : Information rule

All information(including metadeta) is to be represented as stored data in cells of tables. The rows and columns have to be strictly unordered.

Rule 2 : Guaranted Access

Each unique piece of data(atomic value) should be accesible by : Table Name + primary key(Row) + Attribute(column).

NOTE : Ability to directly access via POINTER is a violation of this rule.

Rule 3 : Systemetic treatment of NULL

Null has several meanings, it can mean missing data, not applicable or no value. It should be handled consistently. Primary key must not be null. Expression on NULL must give null.

Rule 4 : Active Online Catalog

Database dictionary(catalog) must have description of Database. Catalog to be governed by same rule as rest of the database. The same query language to be used on catalog as on application database.

Rule 5 : Powerful language

One well defined language must be there to provide all manners of access to data. Example: SQL. If a file supporting table can be accessed by any manner except SQL interface, then its a violation to this rule.

Rule 6 : View Updation rule

All view that are theoretically updatable should be updatable by the system.

Rule 7 : Relational Level Operation

There must be Insert, Delete, Update operations at each level of relations. Set operation like Union, Intersection and minus should also be supported.

Rule 8 : Physical Data Independence

The physical storage of data should not matter to the system. If say, some file supporting table were renamed or moved from one disk to another, it should not effect the application.

Rule 9 : Logical Data Independence

If there is change in the logical structure(table structures) of the database the user view of data should not change. Say, if a table is split into two tables, a new view should give result as the join of the two tables. This rule is most difficult to satisfy.

Rule 10 : Integrity Independence

The database should be able to conforce its own integrity rather than using other programs. Key and Check constraints, trigger etc should be stored in Data Dictionary. This also make RDBMS independent of front-end.

Rule 11 : Distribution Independence

A database should work properly regardless of its distribution across a network. This lays foundation of distributed database.

Rule 12 : Nonsubversion rule

If low level access is allowed to a system it should not be able to subvert or bypass integrity rule to change data. This can be achieved by some sort of looking or encryption.

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