Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS

By | July 9, 2017

Let us understand the concept of RDBMS and DBMS and find the difference between DBMS and RDBMS applications with an explanation and example.

We’ve enlisted 14 major differences between DBMS and RDBMS in points and tabular format below.

What is a Database?

A database is a collection of information that is organised in a way that helps to easily access, manage and update the data.

It is, therefore, an organised collection of different elements such as tables, records/rows, columns, etc. A database system is used to manage large sources of data.

There are a lot of different types of databases which are enlisted as follows:

  1. Distributed Database
  2. Relational Database
  3. Real – time Database
  4. In – Memory Database
  5. Operational Database
  6. Navigational Database
    a. Hierarchical model
    b. Network model
  7. Hypermedia Database
  8. Object – Oriented Database

Must Read: Difference Between Compiler and Interpreter

Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS in Tabular Points with Examples


DBMS stands for Database Management system, and it is software to manage a permanent and a self-descriptive repository of data.

In simple words, a DBMS is a collection of interrelated data and a set of programs to access those data.

A DBMS application is used to create, query, update, retrieve, manipulate and monitor the data in a database. The term DBMS was introduced in the early 1960s.

Every DBMS should follow these 4 ACID properties. For more information about DBMS, check Wikipedia.

Must Read: Difference between Call By Value and Call By Reference


RDBMS stands for Relational database management system, and it is basically a software that is based on relational model and primarily stores data in tables.

An RDBMS application is much more robust than a DBMS system and has a lot of advantages. The term RDBMS was introduced by Edgar F. Codd in 1970s.

If you compare DBMS and RDBMS, you can easily identify that RDBMS is an extension of DBMS.

An RDBMS system minimizes the redundancy of data due to the implementation of several methods, one of them is the use of keys. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Primary key
  2. Foreign key
  3. Candidate key
  4. Super key
  5. Alternate key
  6. Composite key

For more information about RDBMS, check Wikipedia.


As of now, there is no RDBMS or DBMS system that satisfies all the Codd’s 12 rules.


The primary difference between DBMS and RDBMS is that DBMS works on a navigational model whereas RDBMS works on a relational model.

The navigational model again can be categorized into hierarchical model and network model. But, in the recent years, almost all the DBMS have proved to support relational model.

Difference between DBMS and RDBMS

1.RDBMS is an abbreviation for relational database management system.DBMS is an abbreviation for database management system.
2.An RDBMS follows normalization principles.DBMS does not follow normalization.
3.The RDBMS applications stores data in a tabular structure.The DBMS applications stores data in a file structure.
4.An RDBMS system supports distributed databases.A DBMS system does not support distributed databases.
5.The data retrieval time is less for complex and large RDBMS systems.The data retrieval time is greater for complex and large DBMS systems.
6.It is comparatively much more efficient to store, retrieve and manipulate data in an RDBMS system.It is inefficient to store, retrieve and manipulate data in a DBMS system.
7.In an RDBMS system, the relation is made between two tables.The relation in a DBMS system is made between two files.
8.An RDBMS application supports multiple users interacting with the system at any given point of time.A DBMS application supports one user at any given point of time.
9.An RDBMS supports a minimum of 6 rules of E.F. Codd.A DBMS supports a minimum of 3 rules of E.F. Codd.
10.An RDBMS application has to follow all the ACID properties always.A DBMS application does not always follow the ACID properties.
11.RDBMS supports client/server architecture.DBMS does not support client/server architecture.
12.An RDBMS system is ANSI-SQL compatible.A DBMS system may not be ANSI-SQL compatible.
13.An RDBMS system offers excellent support for data warehousing and Enterprise Resource Planning solutions.A DBMS is comparatively behind on ERP and data warehousing implementation.
14.Example: SAP HANA, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, SQL Server.Example: dBase, FoxPro, Clipper, Microsoft Access.

Let’s discuss more on the difference between DBMS and RDBMS in the comment section below. Let us know if you have any doubts or have any points to add.

5 thoughts on “Difference Between DBMS and RDBMS

  1. Amit Yadav

    I believe Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server supports 11 out 12 rules of EF Codd. Not sure though,

  2. Vikas Thakur

    SAP HANA is an in memory database system and is really faster than the other DBs available as of now.

  3. Kironmoy Banerjee

    Thanks for all the differences between rdbms and dbms. It helped me in my BTech exams.

  4. Abhishek Akhouri

    There is one popular misconception that DBMS is low on security terms whereas RDBMS has high security mechanisms which is fake, and I like the way you have explained. Thanks.

  5. Richa Monga

    This DBMS Vs RDBMS guide is just so amazing! Thanks a lot. It is so profound. 🙂


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