Database Management System (DBMS) Software Research

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17th Aug 2017 Computer Science Reference this

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5-2 FINAL PROJECT MILESTONE THREE: DBMS RESEARCH AND RECOMMENDATION

  • DBMS

A.Research and Analysis:

A database management system (DBMS) software is employed to manage the organization, storage, access, security and integrity of structured data. It could come as a set of flat files stored on computer tape/disk, or it could consist of database tables that are managed by the system. The different types of DBMS products include: relational, network and hierarchical. Currently, the most widely and commonly used type is the Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). (http://dbms.ca/concepts/types.html).

In addition to security, one of the biggest advantages of using a DBMS is that it allows end users and application programmers the access and use of the same data while managing data integrity. Data is better protected and maintained since it can be shared using a DBMS, rather than having to create new iterations of the same data to be stored in new files and for every new application. The centrally stored data can be accessed by multiple users in a controlled manner. However, a DBMS that is required to perform additional work to provide these advantages brings with it the overhead. In other words, a DBMS will use more memory and CPU than a simple file storage system, as well as require different types and levels of system resources. (Rouse).

Several DBMS applications are currently available: Oracle, IBM, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Amazon AWS, FileMaker, Teradata, MaraDB, SAP, Adminer, MongoDB, Ingres, Firebird, PostgreSQL, HP Vertica, Alpha, WizeHive, Apache, TeamDesk and Couchbase to name a few. (http://www.capterra.com/database-management-software/#infographic).

For over three decades, the primary operational DBMS has been relational. It continues to be dominated by industry giants such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2.

Similarities:

Each one having been used for production systems all along proves that the technologies involved in these three market-leading products are sound. For Unix and Linux installations, the primary choices are Oracle and IBM DB2. Oracle is the market leader on these platforms. Although other DBMSes in a Linux partition can be run on the mainframe, IBM is ideal for a large organization with a mainframe. For Windows platform, all three are viable options. Naturally, Microsoft is the clear leader on its own OS. All three of the leading DBMS products are highly rated in terms of performance, application development capabilities, support, ease of use and functionality. (Mullins.)

Differences:

Oracle: Given its installed base and wide platform support, skilled Oracle Database technicians and developers are readily available.  Likewise, an abundance of tools for Oracle database administration, application development and data movement/management are accessible. In short, the ensured skills and tooling are not an issue with Oracle. (Mullins).

Function-wise, Oracle keeps pace with many new and advanced features, e.g., JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) support, temporal capabilities and multi-tenancy. The new Oracle Database In-Memory is an option that uses in-memory columnar technology to enable enterprises to accelerate the performance of their business analytics easily and transparently. (Mullins).

Overall, customers give Oracle high marks for performance and availability. However, cost-wise, Oracle has a reputation as being expensive to license and support. Additionally, public opinion indicates that in North America and Europe, Oracle ranked lowest in terms of ease of doing business. (Mullins).

IBM DB2: This DBMS is Oracle’s biggest competitor on Unix and Linux OS. DB2 is additionally available on Windows, z/OS mainframe and iSeries midrange servers. Although skilled DB2 developers and DBAs are likely to be more difficult to hire, compared to Oracle, experienced DB2 professionals are not scarce, albeit there is the need to differentiate by platform (e.g., mainframe DB2 for z/OS skills are different — and somewhat more difficult to find — than for DB2 for LUW; DB2 SQL is almost identical between the z/OS and LUW platforms.) Likewise, there are several developments, data movement and DBA tools available for this DBMS — both from IBM and other independent software vendors (ISVs). (Mullins).

Functionally speaking, DB2 is regularly revised and updated with market-leading features, (e.g., JSON support, temporal capabilities, shadow tables and advanced compression). With the DB2 SQL compatibility feature, IBM is able to run Oracle applications in DB2 for LUW, requiring no changes to business logic in the client code, triggers or stored procedures. Additionally, the DB2 includes compression capabilities and column store capabilities. (Mullins).

Microsoft SQL Server: Its current version is SQL Server 2016. It runs on Linux and MAC and supports numerous Windows versions. Naturally, there are plenty of skilled SQL Server developers and DBAs, just as there are several available tools supporting development, data movement and database administration — both from Microsoft and ISVs. SQL Server licenses come with Analysis Services, Integration Services and Reporting Services that provide functionality. These are typically required add-on tools for the other DBMSes (e.g., Oracle and IBM DB2). These added features enable SQL Server customers to minimize their budget for tooling. (Mullins).

Technological- and functional-wise, Microsoft keeps current with the market, (features such as stretch database capabilities for integrating on-premises with cloud, strong encryption capabilities, integration of Hadoop with relational data using the Polybase feature and improved in-database analytics capabilities). Microsoft features Azure, its cloud-integration vision for SQL Server. This includes simplified backup to Azure and the ability to set up an Azure virtual machine as an always-on secondary. (Mullins).

However, since Microsoft lacks a database appliance (e.g., Oracle’s Exadata and IBM’s PureData System), Microsoft is not a realistic option if one is looking for as a pure plug-and-play database appliance. However, there are third-party appliances available that embed SQL Server. Additionally, Microsoft offers the Microsoft Analytics Platform System, which is an analytics appliance that integrates SQL Server with data from Hadoop (an open-source software framework used to store data and run applications on clusters of commodity hardware). (Mullins).

 

B. Recommendation:

Microsoft Access allows users a way to create desktop databases. It is an easy-to-use tool for quickly creating browser-based database applications. Data is automatically stored in a SQL database, so it’s more secure than ever, and the applications can easily be shared with colleagues. (https://products.office.com/en-us/access).

Access, for its simplicity and ease of use, can be appropriate for the organization. The data can be exported into SQL. Although SQL has a steeper learning curb (compared to Access) and based on the advantages listed above, it is recommended that the organization employ Microsoft SQL Server from the start. This will eliminate the need to learn an entirely new/different software application. Additionally, Access is available for purchase or by subscription only, whereas SQL is free to download and use.

SQL has plenty of technical support available. This is essential for the owner and his staff, who lack any technical training or background. Skilled developers are in abundance. They can further enhance or develop the database as needed. In addition to SQL’s product dependency and reputation, Microsoft has a practice of further developing its products to meet the demands of the market, to satisfy its customers and to stay in competition.

All the above benefits ensure that as the organization grows, the database system can grow along side, without the need to switch.

C.Hardware, Software Recommendation:

Vince Roberts, the owner of Vince’s Vinyl, is not technologically savvy. He requires the most fundamental training. Both recommended software applications provide plentiful online support in the forms of manuals, tutorials and videos. He has been using and is accustomed to a Windows 8 computer. He has no plans to switch to another platform any time soon. With either or both recommended software, he is not required to upgrade his system.

Additionally, he is beginning to become familiar with and comfortable using his Android tablet and smart phone. Eventually, he would like to be able to access his database using all available devices and from any location. Both or either cloud-based Access and Microsoft SQL Server data can be accessed through the means available to him.

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