Skip to main content

Database Management System

  • Reference work entry
Encyclopedia of Database Systems
  • 848 Accesses




A database management system is a software-based system to provide application access to data in a controlled and managed fashion. By allowing separate definition of the structure of the data, the database management system frees the application from many of the onerous details in the care and feeding of its data.

Historical Background

The first general purpose database systems emerged in the 1960s and represented their data in the network data model which presumes that portions of the data (typically called records) would explicitly reference any related data items in a graph (or network). The model was standardized as the CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Languages) model and remained a strong influence on database systems into the 1980s.

In the late 1960s, the hierarchical data modelemerged as exemplified by IBM’s IMS (Information Management System). In the hierarchical data model, data was oriented in a hierarchy and the most natural form of navigation...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 2,500.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Recommended Reading

  1. Bayer R. Binary B-Trees for Virtual Memory. In Proc. ACM-SIGFIDET Workshop, 1971, pp. 219–235.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Blasgen M.W., Astrahan M.M., Chamberlin D.D., Gray J., King W.F., Lindsay B.G., Lorie R.A., Mehl J.W., Price T.G., Putzolu G.F., Schkolnick M., Slutz D.R., Selinger P.G., Strong H.R., Traiger I.L., Wade B., and Yost B. SystemR – an Architectural Update. IBM RJ IBM RJ 2581, IBM Research Center, 95193, 7/17/1979. 42 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Gray J. Data management: past, present, and future. IEEE Comput., 29(10):38–46, 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Gray J. and Reuter A. Transaction Processing: Concepts and Techniques, Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo, CA, 1992.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Stonebraker M., Wong E., Kreps P., and Held G. The Design and Implementation of INGRES. ACM Trans. Database Syst., 1(3):189–222, 1979.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

About this entry

Cite this entry

Helland, P. (2009). Database Management System. In: LIU, L., ÖZSU, M.T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Database Systems. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics