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Computing Academy GCSE Computer Science

Database Management

Database Management Systems Organisations use Database Management Systems (DBMSs) to store, organise, add, edit, delete and search through records. A DBMS is a piece of software that allows us to create and work with databases. Just like a word processor allows us to create letters, a DBMS allows us to create databases. DBMSs also manage: • Automatic Backups • Concurrency Control • Data Integrity • Data Redundancy 133

Automatic Backups Many DBMSs allow you to schedule automatic backups. Consider the implications to a hospital, popular social networking website, or bank of losing all of their data. It could cost these organisations millions of pounds and even endanger lives. It’s therefore critical that organisations backup their data. Concurrency Control While a simple database might only need to be accessed by one person at once, some databases need to be accessed concurrently by multiple users. At the time of writing the most popular social networking website in the world has over 526 million active users each day. This website, like many others, is driven by databases, and with 526 million active users each day, the chances are that more than one person will be accessing their databases at the same time. DBMSs need to manage and control concurrency to avoid conflicts. Consider a ticket sales website allocating seats and taking payment for sporting fixtures; many users may be viewing and selecting seats at the same time. What is to stop two people choosing and paying for the same seats at the same time? Who would the seats belong to? 134

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