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Difference between File System and DBMS

Last Updated : 06 Sep, 2023
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The file system is basically a way of arranging the files in a storage medium like a hard disk. The file system organizes the files and helps in the retrieval of files when they are required. File systems consist of different files which are grouped into directories. The directories further contain other folders and files. The file system performs basic operations like management, file naming, giving access rules, etc. 

Example: NTFS(New Technology File System), EXT(Extended File System).

File System

File System

DBMS(Database Management System)

Database Management System is basically software that manages the collection of related data. It is used for storing data and retrieving the data effectively when it is needed. It also provides proper security measures for protecting the data from unauthorized access. In Database Management System the data can be fetched by SQL queries and relational algebra. It also provides mechanisms for data recovery and data backup. 


Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL server.


Difference between File System and DBMS


File System



The file system is a way of arranging the files in a storage medium within a computer.

DBMS is software for managing the database.

Data Redundancy

Redundant data can be present in a file system.

In DBMS there is no redundant data.

Backup and Recovery

It doesn’t provide Inbuilt mechanism for backup and recovery of data if it is lost.

It provides in house tools for backup and recovery of data even if it is lost.

Query processing

There is no efficient query processing in the file system.

Efficient query processing is there in DBMS.


There is less data consistency in the file system.

There is more data consistency because of the process of normalization.


It is less complex as compared to DBMS.

It has more complexity in handling as compared to the file system.

Security Constraints

File systems provide less security in comparison to DBMS.

DBMS has more security mechanisms as compared to file systems.


It is less expensive than DBMS.

It has a comparatively higher cost than a file system.

Data Independence

There is no data independence.

In DBMS data independence exists, mainly of two types:

1) Logical Data Independence.

2)Physical Data Independence.

User Access

Only one user can access data at a time.

Multiple users can access data at a time.


The users are not required to write procedures.

The user has to write procedures for managing databases


Data is distributed in many files. So, it is not easy to share data.

Due to centralized nature data sharing is easy

Data Abstraction

It give details of storage and representation of data

It hides the internal details of Database

Integrity Constraints

Integrity Constraints are difficult to implement

Integrity constraints are easy to implement

Attributes To access data in a file , user requires attributes such as file name, file location. No such attributes are required.


Cobol, C++

Oracle, SQL Server

The main difference between a file system and a DBMS (Database Management System) is the way they organize and manage data.

  1. File systems are used to manage files and directories, and provide basic operations for creating, deleting, renaming, and accessing files. They typically store data in a hierarchical structure, where files are organized in directories and subdirectories. File systems are simple and efficient, but they lack the ability to manage complex data relationships and ensure data consistency.
  2. On the other hand, DBMS is a software system designed to manage large amounts of structured data, and provide advanced operations for storing, retrieving, and manipulating data. DBMS provides a centralized and organized way of storing data, which can be accessed and modified by multiple users or applications. DBMS offers advanced features like data validation, indexing, transactions, concurrency control, and backup and recovery mechanisms. DBMS ensures data consistency, accuracy, and integrity by enforcing data constraints, such as primary keys, foreign keys, and data types.

In summary, file systems are suitable for managing small amounts of unstructured data, while DBMS is designed for managing large amounts of structured data, and offers more advanced features for ensuring data integrity, security, and performance.

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