A Database Management System (DBMS), is a software program that enables the creation and management of databases. Generally, these databases will be more complex than the text file/spreadsheet example in the previous lesson. In fact, most of today’s database systems are referred to as a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) , because of their ability to store related data across multiple tables.

Some of the more popular relational database management systems include:

* Microsoft Access
* Microsoft SQL Server
* Oracle

What Does a Database Management System Look Like?

Different database management systems look different, but generally, there are a number of common features that you’ll usually see across most of them.

Microsoft SQL Server is a more robust database management system than Access. While Access is better suited to home and small office use, SQL Server is more suited to enterprise applications such as corporate CRMs and websites etc.

The above screen is what you see when you open SQL Server through Enterprise Manager. Enterprise Manager is a built-in tool for managing SQL Server and its databases. In this example, there are 6 databases. Each database is represented down the left pane, and also in the main pane (with a “database” icon).
Which Database System to Use?

If you are using a database for home or small office use, Microsoft Access or Filemaker should be fine. If you need to create a database driven website, then you’re better off using a more robust system such as SQL Server, Oracle, or MySQL.