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Table of contents
DBMS(Database Management System)
File System
Difference between DBMS and File System
Advantages of DBMS system 
Disadvantages of DBMS system 
Frequently Asked Questions
Is DBMS a file system?
Why DBMS is better compared to file system?
What is difference between DBMS and file system?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Difference between File System and DBMS

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Before heading towards File System vs DBMS, let’s first understand what they mean by DBMS and File System.File Systems organize data as files in a hierarchical structure and lack data relationships, integrity, and advanced querying capabilities. DBMS structures data in tables with enforced relationships, ensuring data integrity, efficient querying, and scalability for complex applications.

File System vs DBMS

DBMS(Database Management System)

Database Management System(DBMS) is a computerized system for storing data or software to manage the database. Now, what do you mean by Database?

The database collects data used to store, retrieve, or delete the data and organize it in tables, reports, etc. In Database Management System, the data can be fetched by SQL queries and relational algebra.

Some popular databases are used in different applications, for example, MySQL.

You can also read about - Specialization and Generalization in DBMS

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File System

A File System is a way of organizing files on a storage disk like flash drives, hard drives. It can differ between operating systems macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux systems. File systems consist of different files which are grouped into directories.

File system

Example of a file tree diagram

Difference between DBMS and File System

Basis DBMS File System
Definition DBMS is a collection of data. Over here, the user is not required to write the procedures. The file system is a collection of data, Where the user has to write the procedures which can lead to loss of data also.
Data Abstraction It gives the abstract view of data that hides the details. It provides the details of data representation and storage of data.
Crash Mechanism DBMS provides the crash mechanism, i.e., DBMS protects the user from system failure. In a file system, it doesn’t have a crash recovery mechanism.
Protection DBMS provides a good protection mechanism. It is tough to protect a file system.
Data Storing It contains a wide variety of sophisticated technology to store and retrieve the data. It can’t efficiently store and retrieve the data.
Data Concurrency It takes care of concurrent access of data using some form of locking. Concurrent access in file system has many problems, like redirecting the file while deleting some information and updating some data.
Cost It has a higher cost than the file system. It is less expensive than DBMS.








Advantages of DBMS system 

Advantages of a Database Management System (DBMS) include:

  • Data Integrity: DBMS enforces data consistency and integrity through constraints.
  • Efficient Data Retrieval: It offers advanced querying and indexing for fast data retrieval.
  • Concurrency Control: Manages concurrent access to data with locking and transaction management.
  • Data Security: Provides user-level access control and encryption for data protection.
  • Data Redundancy Reduction: Minimizes data duplication for storage efficiency.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: Supports automated backups and recovery mechanisms.
  • Scalability: Scales to accommodate growing data needs.
  • Data Modeling: Facilitates complex data modeling and relationships.
  • Multi-User Support: Allows multiple users to access and modify data simultaneously.
  • Maintenance and Centralized Management: Simplifies data maintenance and offers centralized data management.
  • Data Independence: Separates data from applications, making it easier to change the database schema without affecting applications.
  • Data Consistency: Enforces data consistency rules for accurate and reliable information.

Overall, DBMS enhances data management, security, and accessibility for a wide range of applications.

Disadvantages of DBMS system 

Disadvantages of a Database Management System (DBMS) include:

  • Complexity: DBMS setup and management can be complex and require specialized knowledge.
  • Cost: Licensing and hardware costs for a robust DBMS can be high.
  • Performance Overhead: DBMS may introduce performance overhead due to query optimization and data retrieval.
  • Learning Curve: Learning to use DBMS effectively can be time-consuming.
  • Data Migration: Migrating data between DBMS platforms can be challenging.
  • Single Point of Failure: If the DBMS fails, it can disrupt multiple applications.
  • Security Concerns: Centralized data storage poses security risks if not properly configured.
  • Data Loss: Inadequate backup and recovery plans can lead to data loss.
  • Vendor Lock-In: Choosing a specific DBMS may lead to vendor lock-in.
  • Resource Consumption: DBMS can consume significant system resources.
  • Maintenance Overhead: Regular maintenance, updates, and patches are required.
  • Scalability Challenges: Scaling to handle high volumes of data can be challenging.
  • Data Dependence: Changes to the database structure can affect application code.
  • Over-Reliance on Technology: Overuse of DBMS may lead to unnecessary complexity in some applications.

These disadvantages should be considered alongside the advantages when deciding whether to implement a DBMS for a particular application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DBMS a file system?

No, a DBMS (Database Management System) is not a file system. A DBMS is a software system that enables users to create, store, modify, and retrieve data from a database.

Why DBMS is better compared to file system?

A file system is inefficient for storing and retrieving data, whereas a database management system (DBMS) is efficient due to the numerous techniques it provides for data storage and retrieval. Unlike a file system, a DBMS provides data recovery services through backup and recovery options.

What is difference between DBMS and file system?

DBMS structures data with relationships, data integrity, and advanced querying, while a file system organizes data as files with minimal features.


In summary, file systems offer simplicity and speed for basic data storage, suitable for small-scale applications. Conversely, database management systems provide robustness, data integrity, and advanced querying capabilities, essential for managing large volumes of structured data and supporting complex operations. The choice between them hinges on the specific needs and complexity of the application at hand.

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