Database Management- Accounting

Database Management- Accounting






Database management systems have swiftly become one of the leading texts for database courses, known for its comprehensive coverage and practical emphasis. In the modern times, there has been continuous development of new materials on database applications, with great focus on internet applications and programs (Gill, 2008). The current trends in database management systems include innovation and extensions of databases that support multimedia data, recursive queries, OLAP, object relational databases, and spatial data. This paper covers the history of Database Management Systems in Accounting, history of database management systems, different kinds of Database Management Systems, as well as, the strengths and weaknesses of the Database Management Systems.



I. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………

II. History of Database Management Systems……………………………………………

III. Types of Database Management Systems……………………………………………..

  1. Hierarchical DBMS……………………………………………………………….
  2. Network DBMS……………………………………………………………………
  3. Relational DBMS…………………………………………………………………..
  4. Object-oriented DBMS…………………………………………………………….

IV. Advantages of Database Management Systems………………………………………

V. Disadvantages of Database Management Systems………………………………………

VI. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………

VII. Recommendations ……………………………………………………………………

VIII. References…………………………………………………………………………….

IX. Definition of terms……………………………………………………………………….






Data base Management Systems (DBMS) refers to a collection of programs that enable storage, modification and extraction of data or information from a database. In other terms, a DBMS is a software program, which enables the creation and management of databases. According to Gill (2008), there exist a variety of types of DBMs that range from small systems on personal computers to large systems that run on mainframes. All types of DBMSs used have their advantages and disadvantages depending on their applications. Database management systems are a crucial and integrated component of most successful GIS. Their uses are to store, manipulate and retrieve data from a database. The range of DBMS structures used include network, relational designs, inverted list and hierarchical. There has been a realization of the importance of database management systems. For all programs run in a computer, there has to be particular features or characteristics of the programs. Database management systems serve the data or information requirements of many users rather than a single individual (Pratt & Adamski, 2012).

History of database management systems

The history of database management systems dates back around the time that computers began to take off. The concept of the database was put in use and began to grow in commercial use in 1960s. The emergence of the first type of DBMS took place during this period. This was the hierarchical DBMS. IBM had the first model of a DBMS, developed on IBM 360. Their DBMS known as IMS was originally written for the Apollo program (Pratt & Adamski, 2012). The shape of this DBMS was like a tree. There were limitations in the relations in this system between parents and children records. The benefits, however, were numerous, security and integrity of data was enhanced, and all these led to efficiencies. There were, however, some disadvantages associated with these kinds of databases management systems. For instance, there was the complexity in the implementation of the systems. In addition, managing the DBMS was difficult because of the absence of standards. This made it difficult to handle multiple relationships. Around 1960-1970s, there was the development of the network DBMS.

According to Gill (2008), the first DBMS was developed by Charles Bachmann at Honeywell, called Integrated Data Store (IDS). A group known as CODASYL created the COBOL and standardized the system. The group invented the CODASYL APPROACH. Many systems using network DBMS were implemented for business use based on the CODASYL APPROACH. In this model, each and every record could have multiple parents in contrast with the hierarchical DBMS. Sets of relationships could be established in this type of DBMS. The disadvantage with this type of DBMS was that there was difficulty in design and maintenance. Additionally, the system was complex and lacked structural independence. Between the 1970s and 1980s, there was the emergence of the relational DBMS. This development is associated with Edgar Codd, who was unhappy with the CODASYL APPROACH. According to Codd, a search tool or facility was useful, but it was absent. He proposed a new approach to database construction in 1970. This led to the creation of a relational DBMS, which was particularly beneficial for Large Shared Data Banks. This system of entering data was beneficial as table of records could be linked to many other tables. Two programs were launched that is the INGRES program and the R program at the University of California.

A later development of DBMS was in 1985 when the object-oriented DBMS was developed. This included new data models and powerful languages. The vendors were SQL Server, Informix, Oracle, and IBMs DB2. However, due to the high costs associated with the implementation of the object-oriented DBMS and changing of systems and format, it did not have any booming commercial profit (Rahimi & Haug, 2010). However, in 1990, the object-oriented database took a new approach joint with the relational DBMS. In this new approach, multimedia, text, web and the internet use in conjunction with DBMS were available, and their use was also possible.

Kinds of database management systems

Database management systems come in many sizes and shapes. Individuals are able to purchase a DBMS with only a few dollars for their desktop computers. For computer systems that are larger, their cost is a bit expensive. In this case, therefore, many mainframe-based database management systems are leased by firms and organizations. These types of DBMS are vastly sophisticated meaning that they would be expensive to develop them from scratch. It, therefore, becomes less costly for an organization to lease the DBMS rather than developing it. There are different kinds of database management systems that exist, with different fundamental characteristics, as well as, advantages and disadvantages (strengths and weaknesses). In this case, database management systems are classified into four main categories that is network, relational hierarchical, and object-oriented (Gill, 2008).

Hierarchical DBMS

These are regularly used on mainframe computers and have existed for a long time. These types of databases are one of the oldest means of categorizing and storing data.  Hierarchical databases are used by organizations in making travel reservations. Their main key feature is that they are organized in a pyramid style or design just like the branches of a tree that extend downwards. Records or fields that are related are grouped together. In this case, therefore, there are lower level records and higher level records or fields. Based on the tree analogy, the parent record, which is at the peak of the pyramid, is referred to as the root field or record. A child record is linked only to one parent. A parent record may sometimes have more than one child record connected to it. This implies that, in these types of databases, a record search is carried out by starting at the summit of the pyramid, going down through the tree until the appropriate or the required record is found. The advantages or strengths of these types of databases are that they enable rapid update and access (Rahimi & Haug, 2010). This is because the structure and the correlation between records are established in advance. However, there also exist weaknesses in these types of databases. Each child may have only one parent, and the linkages and relationships between children are not allowed. This implies that hierarchical databases are extremely rigid in their design, and the establishment or addition of a new record or field requires the restructuring of the entire database.

Network DBMS

Network databases have also a hierarchical structure just like the hierarchical databases. However, there exist a few differences between the two types of databases. Network DBMS look more like interconnected network of records. Children in this case are called members while parents are known as owners. In network databases, each and every member may have more than one owner. They are mostly used on mainframe computers. According to Rahimi and Haug (2010), a major advantage of network databases is that they are more flexible than hierarchical databases. This is because connections and linkages between different types of records or data. They are also defined in advance. However, there is also a disadvantage associated with network databases, which lies in the fact that there is a limit as to the number of correlations and linkages that are made between records.

Relational DBMS

In this type of databases, the connection between data files is relational rather than hierarchical. Relational databases do the opposite of what network and hierarchical databases do. In the network and hierarchical databases, users are required to work down through a particular order to access the information that he or she require. On the other hand, relational databases connect or link records in diverse files by use of common or similar data fields or elements. In relational databases, data is stored in distinct tables, with each having a key field, which is unique, and which is used to identify each row. In this case, therefore, relational databases enhance flexibility than both network and hierarchical database structures (Gill, 2008).

Tables and files in relational databases are called relations. Rows are designated as tuples while columns are known as attributes or fields. These databases operate on the theory that each table has a unique key field that identifies each row. These key fields are the ones used to link a table of data to other tables. For instance, one table may have a row that has a customer account number as the key field beside with the telephone number and address. The account number of the customer in the table could be linked or connected to another table that also includes the customer account number (key field), but which may contain other information such as information regarding product returns. The table of product returns could include an item number (also a key field). The item number could be related to another table that has item numbers, as well as, other information on the format such as color, production location and other relevant information. Relational databases are popular in usage especially for two main reasons. Firstly, they are used with little or no training at all. Secondly, data entries in relational databases can be modified without necessarily restructuring the entire structure (Rahimi & Haug, 2010). However, relational databases are disadvantaged by the fact that they may be tedious. This is because searching for particular data can take a longer time than if other methods are used. Examples include MS Access, Foxbase,

Object-oriented Databases

These types of databases are capable of managing many new data types including photographs, audio, video and graphics. Object-oriented databases are more advanced than the other three databases. Because of the simplicity of design of network and hierarchical databases, they are structured to handle data that fits perfectly into fields, columns and rows. These databases only handle little information such as addresses, names, and product numbers. Object-oriented databases, on the other hand, are used to store data from a variety of media sources of such as text and photographs, and produce output in a multimedia design. In their operations, these types of databases use reusable and small chunks of objects known as objects. These objects are stored in the database (Rahimi & Haug, 2010).

There are two elements in each object. The first element is a piece of data, which may be video, sound, text, or graphics. The second element is the software programs or instructions for what to do with the data. Instructions that are within the object are used to perform a particular purpose. For instance, the object could have test scores as the instructions for calculating the average test score. As much as there are many advantages associated with the use of object-oriented databases, there are two disadvantages of these databases (Gill, 2008). First, the cost of developing these databases is relatively high. Secondly, most organizations are hesitant to convert from databases that they have previously invested funds in their development and implementation. However, the benefits associated with object-oriented databases outweigh the costs. The capacity to mix reusable objects provides unbelievable multimedia capability. For instance, their use in healthcare organizations is high as the organizations are able to store, and track CAT scans, electrocardiograms, X-rays, and other forms of vital data.

General advantages of database management systems

One of the advantages of DBMSs is that of improved availability. This means that the same information is available for a variety of users. Reduced redundancy is an advantage of DBMSs. The data in the database management systems is more concise because the information in it appears only once. The need to repeat the same data severally is, therefore, reduced. This has a significant impact on reducing the costs of storing data on hard drives and other devices used in the storage of data. Another advantage of database management systems is accuracy. Data in the databases is consistent, up-to-date, and accurate. Database management systems promote data integrity because changes and updates on the data are made in one place. Accuracy is, therefore, enhanced as the possibility of making a mistake are lower if one is required to change data in one place than if one is to change data in several places (Pratt & Adamski, 2012). Database management systems enhance data independence, which is a requirement of all application programs. Centralizing the administration of data offers individuals with as a lot of improvements regarding data. In addition, database management systems protect users from the effects of system failure (Pratt & Adamski, 2012).

Database management systems enhance program and file consistency. The system programs and file formats in database management systems are standardized. This enables easier maintenance of files since similar rules and guidelines apply in all kinds of data. The level of consistency across all programs and files enable easy management of data especially when many programmers are involved. Database management systems are user-friendly. It is easier to access data with a DBMS than when one does not use it. In addition, DBMS reduce the dependence of individuals on specialists to help them with their data needs.  According to Pratt and Adamski (2012), there is improved security associated with the use of database management systems. Although a DBMS allows users to access the same data resources, there are no potential risks involved as passwords are used in database management systems, which limit access of access to only people that should access it. This ensures maximum security of data.

General disadvantages of database management systems

The cost of implementing a DBMS can be high. The process may also be tedious and time-consuming especially in bigger organizations. The requirements for training can also be costly. Although DBMS enhance security of data, there are chances that unauthorized users may access the database. Once unauthorized personnel access the database, they also have access to all the data. This breaches in security may pose a danger or risk to individual’s security, depending on the nature of the data accessed (Pratt & Adamski, 2012).


Database management systems have swiftly become one of the leading texts for database courses, known for its comprehensive coverage and practical emphasis. In the modern times, there has been continued development of new materials on database applications, with great focus on internet applications and programs (Gill, 2008). The multiple benefits of DBMSs have enabled its wider use by individuals and organizations all over the world. With the emerging trends in database management such as multimedia databases, interactive video, streaming data and digital libraries, there benefits continue to be experienced. Database management systems are used everywhere around the world. With the advancement of technology, the forms of the management systems have advanced, and this has the positive effects of accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness when handling data. Everything from online auctions to banking transactions uses DBMSs. All transactions that involve data and information are carried out using DBMSs. As the technology expands, as more businesses and consumers engage in online transactions, the more the DBMSs will be used.


DBMSs are beneficial to individual and organizations that use them in their transactions. They reduce redundancy of work, improve availability, ensure consistency and accuracy of data, as well as, improving security of data and information (Pratt& Adamski, 2012). These benefits together with other more advantages achieved while using DBMSs cannot be ignored as they outweigh the costs incurred in implementation and maintenance of the systems. Once the systems are developed, the individuals or organizations begin to enjoy the benefits that arise in using DBMS. It is, therefore, advisable for all organizations to implement the database management systems in their computing. The technology has advanced and will continue to grow as the world changes. There is, therefore, need to change with the changing world. Gone are times when things were done manually as technology has changed all things for the better. However, there might arise some issues in the use of data management systems. For instance, the security of data might be challenged when unauthorized personnel access the database. This might interfere with the privacy of data, depending on the data and information that is accessed. In this case, therefore, serious and strict measures need to be taken. For instance, there could be implementation of security programs that detect unauthorized personnel. On matters where the files in the database may be lost, steps should be taken to regularly make back up copies of all the files in a database, and store them because of the possibility of catastrophes such as fires, earthquakes or other catastrophes that might lead to the destruction of the system (Coronel et al., 2012).



Gill, P. S. (2008). Database management systems. New Delhi: I.K. International.

Pratt, P. J., & Adamski, J. J. (2012). Concepts of database management. Boston, Mass: Course Technology.

Rahimi, S., & Haug, F. S. (2010). Distributed database management systems: A practical approach. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Coronel, C., Morris, S., & Rob, P. (2012). Database systems: Design, implementation, and management. Boston, Mass: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.




Definition of terms

Database- a collection of related digitized files

Record- a collection of attributes related to an entity such as a person or product

Database management system-a software package that enables users to edit, link, and update files as needs dictate

Field-an item of data; that is, a character, or group of characters that are related

Database file- a collection of related records

Key-a unique identifier to a particular record

User- an individual using a computer program

Data- unprocessed information


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