Comparison Between DBMS And File System

Due to the technological advancements and also because of the increase in scope, most of the business units are shifting from traditional methods to an automated environment. Whether it is a large organization or a small business, their data relating to accounts and their business functioning are very important. Even for an individual computer user, his or her data will be important and confidential for them. Therefore, it is necessary to properly manage data in a computer.

There are mainly two categories of program available to manage data in a computer such as DBMS and file system. Even though the functioning of both these types is similar, there are many differences in its purpose and usage. Some of the difference between DBMS and file system are as follows.


DBMS or Database Management System is software that helps the user to alter and create data from a database. Database stores data in the form of rows and columns and a DBMS software helps in effective management of this data. DBMS also helps the user to store their data in a specific structure which makes it easy to access and find the data for authentic users. In other words, it is a program that helps the user to manage files in a database.

The file system is a part of the operating software or the system software of a computer. It deals with reading and writing data to the hard drive. The New Technology File System of windows and the Extended File System of Linux are some of the examples file system in a computer. Unlike DBMS, there is no specific format or structure to store and retrieve data in a file system. In short, it is a tool embedded with the system software to manage files in a computer system.

Data Management

In a file system, the user will have to perform all the operations involved in storing and retrieving data from the hard disk. For example, if a person needs to store data in a specific sequence, then he or she will have to rename the files in the specific sequence manually. Even though search options are available, the user will have to be aware of what to search to get the data regarding a specific purpose. Finally, to obtain a report inclusive of all the data stored for the purpose, the user will have to manually create them with reference to the required set of files.

Management of data is comparatively simple and time saving compared to normal file management systems. As mentioned above, the data is stored in the database in a specific tabular form. Therefore, it will automatically get in sequel without user intervention. It is also easy to retrieve data from the database using a database management system because it uses programs like SQL to reduce the efforts of the user. It will also help the user to modify the data without much manual efforts.


The data stored in a database can be made secure with the help of a Database Management System. These programs will provide the user with access control, that is, the user can decide who must see the data stored in the system. There are different types of access controls in DBMS. One type will allow the user to access only a specific portion of the whole data. This is mainly used to restrict the access of lower level employees to the database of an organization. This system will also check the authority of the user by verifying user ID and password before giving access to the database.

Compared to DBMS, file management system does not provide or provide only a low level security to the files stored in a computer. Most of the operating systems will provide an initial access protection to a computer and if a person is able to surpass that, nothing can stop them from accessing the data stored in the hard disk. However, there are some application software than can provide a second level security to the files but it is very weak and inconsistent compared to the data protection provided by DBMS.

Basis Of Difference Database Management System File Management System
Function Manage data in a database Manage files in hard disk
Data Management Less effort High Effort
Security High Low

The file management system is one of the basic functions provided by an operating system to manage files stored in a computer. It is necessary to have a file system to access, read and write data from the hard disk. However, if you are running a large business or if you are dealing with huge data, it is better to utilize DBMS because it helps in better handling of data in a database.

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