DBMS vs file system: What are the differences?

DBMS vs file system: What are the differences?

Are you interested in the backend and wondering about how the data is being stored in the backend and what are the different ways for storing data, updating data, deleting data and many more? So you came to the right place. Here in this article, we are going to see all about DBMS and file systems so be ready to learn something new from this article. The main topic is DBMS vs file system.


Database management system(DBMS) is a software which is mostly used in backend software development and we can perform many operations on a database with the help of a database management system such as insertion, updation and deletion of the data.

whereas file systems are also used for storing the data but they store the data in the form of files on hard disks.

What is DBMS?

A database management system(DBMS) is used for performing various operations on a database such as the insertion of new data, deletion of old data, and updating a certain database data, etc.

Database management systems(DBMS) are handy as compared to file systems software developers use structured query language(SQL) to work with Database tables and they perform various operations by performing different SQL queries.

What is a file system?

Now coming from the definition perspective a file system is a method that a computing system is using to manage store and access files. The file system handles everything right from naming the file to deciding its logical data structure it’s also responsible for retrieving the data from a particular file.

File systems allow us to control the data stored in our drive or whatever storage we use could be a hard disk drive, SSD flash storage, micro sd cards and many more. In most cases the file systems allow us to manipulate these files in the way we want as long as it’s supported by the file system like copying moving and deleting etc.

Features of DBMS

The features of DBMS are shown below.

  1. Multiple views: A user who is in the purchasing department will have a different idea of a database than a user who is working in the sales department.
  2. Consistency: There exist methods and techniques, which can detect the attempt to leave the database in an inconsistent state.
  3. Security: DBMS should provide a security subsystem to create and control user accounts.
  4. Multi-users and concurrent access: Sharing of the data takes place amongst the different types of users and applications.
  5. Data Persistence: Data persistence means that in DBMS all the data is maintained as long as it is not deleted explicitly.

Features of file system

The features of a file system are shown below.

  1. Metadata: The file system uses metadata to store files in the hard disks, storage, or any type of storage, such as created date, file name, modified etc.
  2. Accessing: The accessing of a certain file in a file system can be done by searching that file name in the file manager.
  3. Various types: Various types of files can be created with the file system such as .exe, .gif, .html etc.
  4. Storage: The file system can be high in size, so we don’t have to worry about storing the data in the files until the storage of the hard disks, and memory card have space.

Advantages of DBMS

Database management system(DBMS) advantages are shown below.

  1. Redundancy can be reduced: In a database system the redundancy of the data is controlled, and the system is aware of redundancy and assures responsibility for propagating updates(automatic change at other places in case of duplicate data.)
  2. Inconsistency can be avoided: If the redundancy is controlled, the inconsistency is automatically controlled. Inconsistency means the mismatch in the two entries with the same data. I must be avoided to get correct information.
  3. Data can be stored: It means the data requirements of the new applications may be satisfied without creating any new stored file. Now application operates on the same data.
  4. Standards can be Enforced: The applicable standards(company, international, departmental, industry national and international) are followed in the representation of data. It is useful for data in charge or migration between systems.

Disadvantages of DBMS

Database management system(DBMS) disadvantages are shown below.

  1. High in cost: Managing a Database management system takes skills and learning those skills from courses, online tutors, youtube videos etc. Or in an organization for hiring a DBMS managing developer, the hiring cost and wages are high which is a disadvantage of DBMS.
  2. Database failure problem: Due to the high amount of user traffic, new data insertion, updation, and deletion of the data may result in Database failure problems. And then managing that database becomes pretty hard there are different ways to avoid database failure problems.
  3. Back-up and recovery: A database is not stored on the hard disk like a file system, a Database is being stored on the server side. And as now the tech is growing so the approaches are changing too. Now Every application is working with the client-server rendering approach, which means many users can access the same database at one time. And if a user back-up the data it can harm multiple users.
  4. Require high-skill database developer: Managing the database is not easy with the period the size of the database increases so it becomes complex to manage it. But if the Database developer is highly skilled in his skills he/she can work fastly without worries. And if they are highly skilled they will charge a high amount that’s obvious, It’s an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time.

Advantages of file system

The advantages of a file system are shown below.

  1. Cost friendly: File systems are cost-friendly over DBMS, file systems are inbuilt with operating systems, and we just need to work with the files which we want to work with, Without paying any cost to create or manage files we can work with a file system with cost-friendly.
  2. Easy access: File systems provide an easy interface to access specific data for a user to search specific data it provides a search feature to search the data in the file manager.
  3. File backup: File systems provide an easy way of restoring files that failed or fails while working. Operating systems come with an inbuilt backup feature or we can create one on our own.
  4. File sharing: File sharing becomes very easy with file systems. It provides a way of sharing the data which is stored in the form of files and with more than one person.

Disadvantages of file system

The disadvantages of the file system are shown below.

  1. Searching: Finding specific data in the file system it becomes a hard task over DBMS, In DBMS we can execute a short query and find the specific data in a few seconds. But with a file system, it becomes hard.
  2. Concurrency: In a file system we can’t concurrently do tasks, multiple people can’t access the same data at one time. Because with a file system, the data is stored in the storage of an operating system which means only one person can access that data.
  3. Attributes: Attributes are things which describe a real thing and with DBMS we can work with attributes but file systems use metadata to store files it’s an advantage and disadvantage at the same time.


In this article, we see about DBMS vs file system, what are they? what are the features of each of them, we also looked at some of the advantages and disadvantages of DBMS and file systems? Why use DBMS over file system? etc. I hope you found this article helpful and clears your related doubts, DBMS is mostly used in backend development if you want to get into backend development then you will going to need DBMS.


What is the difference between a DBMS and a file system?

File system helps us to store data in the form of raw files, whereas DBMS stores data in the database and we can manipulate it with the help of SQL(Structured query language).

Why DBMS is better than a file system?

Now every application works based on the client-server side rendering approaches which mean that multiple users should be able to access a single database at one time, With a file system, it can’t be done so DBMS is better than a file system.

What is the difference between a file and a database?

A file is like a container where we can store different data in a single place such as documents, information, etc. And a database is a collection of correlational data in a database we can store data in the form of tables.

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