The idea of database management systems arose in the early 1970s following research conducted by IBM and university of California at Berkeley. The research intended to provide an alternative to the techniques in use at the time, especially to help reduce the cost of deploying and maintaining complex systems (Seltzer, 2008).
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In the modern competitive world, the accessibility, accuracy and timeliness of storage and retrieval of information necessary to meet customer needs ensure an entity’s superior performance (Larson, 1988).
Relational database management systems improve productivity, speed and flexibility of data management in an organization through a design that encourages a clear boundary between the logical and physical aspect of database management system (Codd, 1970).
Most enterprises have embraced relational database management system due to their ability to ensure high levels of data security. Data security arises from the authentication and authorization functionalities of a relational database. Authentication is the process of validating users’ credentials to prevent unauthorized access to the entity’s information.
It requires users to enter their usernames and passwords, which can be encrypted to enhance their security. Authorization is the concept of controlling the information that each users can access by allocating different access permissions for users. This ensures that only individuals with the appropriate authorization can access sensitive information.
Organizations have also embraced relational database systems due to their capability to store huge amounts of information; that is, their data-warehousing capabilities (Seltez, 2008). This helps enterprises record customer transactions over time.
Such customer information can give insight into customer’s purchasing patterns, trends in product popularity, and regional product preferences. The entity can use such information to offer customers products that are more relevant to their needs, thus encourage more purchases (Seltez, 2008).
Relational databases management systems provide superb directory services. With the increasing dependence on distributed resources, relational database directory servers organize the information in a hierarchical structure similar to that of the physical organization.
An example is LDAP standard that emerged in 1990. The standard is currently used in major companies e.g. IBM Tivoli’s directory server and the Microsoft’s Active directory server. This reduces the amount of time used in locating information in an organization and, for instance, facilitates management of various employee directories.
The relational database’s XML management capacity also provides core tools for entities to grow their business. Most online transactions are encoded using XML documents. These documents require conversion to a relational structure, storage in relational database, and reconversion during retrieval.
Relational database management systems support this workload of queries and traffic as experienced in online transaction processing. While creating data tables, one can define a relational table with a column of type XML that stores an XML document per row.
This means that expressions to search the XML are executed in an opaque manner to the query optimizer. This helps cap the advantages of XML into the data manipulated in the database, for instance, enabling consumer online ordering functions (Hellerstein, Stonebraker & Hamilton, 2007)
Unlike other database management systems, relational database management systems adapt quickly to dynamic business needs, thus helping in acquiring more information for better decisions (Larson, 1988).
Such adaptability increases database flexibility, which reduces management cost of applications, while increasing effectiveness and productivity; this results in improved user satisfaction and confidence in the enterprise (Larson, 1988).
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Relation databases management systems offer modern-day organizations various opportunities for growth. For instance, by enabling structured organization, easy storage, and quick retrieval of information, the relational databases enable the entities meet customer needs by providing offers that meet such needs.
Other aspects such as flexibility and XML management capacity make relational databases a critical tool for an entity to meet its dynamic customer needs.
Codd, E. F. (1970). A relational model of data for large shared data banks. Communications of the ACM, 13(6), 377- 387. Web.
Hellerstein, J. M., Stonebraker, M. & Hamilton, J. (2007). Architecture of a database system. Hanover, MA: Now Publishers Inc.
Larson, O. (1988). Strategic importance of relational database. Cupertino, CA: Hewlett-Packard Company. Web.
Seltzer, M. (2008). There is more to data access than SQL: Beyond relational databases. Communications of the ACM, 51(7), 52-58, doi:10.1145/1364782.1364797