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Chapter: Fundamentals of Database Systems - Introduction to Databases - Database System Concepts and Architecture

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Database System Concepts and Architecture

The architecture of DBMS packages has evolved from the early monolithic systems, where the whole DBMS software package was one tightly integrated system, to the modern DBMS packages that are modular in design, with a client/server system architecture.

Chapter 2

Database System Concepts and Architecture

 

The architecture of DBMS packages has evolved from the  early  monolithic  systems,  where  the  whole DBMS software package was one tightly integrated system, to the modern DBMS packages that are modular in design, with a client/server system architecture. This evolution mirrors the trends in computing, where large centralized mainframe computers are being replaced by hundreds of distributed workstations and personal computers connected via communications networks to various types of server machines—Web servers, database servers, file servers, application servers, and so on.

 

In a basic client/server DBMS architecture, the system functionality is distributed between two types of modules. A client module is typically designed so that it will run on a user workstation or personal computer. Typically, application programs and user interfaces that access the database run in the client module. Hence, the client module handles user interaction and provides the user-friendly interfaces such as forms- or menu-based GUIs (graphical user interfaces). The other kind of module, called a server module, typically handles data storage, access, search, and other functions. We discuss client/server architectures in more detail in Section 2.5. First, we must study more basic concepts that will give us a better understanding of modern database architectures.

 

In this chapter we present the terminology and basic concepts that will be used throughout the book. Section 2.1 discusses data models and defines the concepts of schemas and instances, which are fundamental to the study of database systems. Then, we discuss the three-schema DBMS architecture and data independence in Section 2.2; this provides a user’s perspective on what a DBMS is supposed to do. In Section 2.3 we describe the types of interfaces and languages that are typically provided by a DBMS. Section 2.4 discusses the database system software environment.

Section 2.5 gives an overview of various types of client/server architectures. Finally, Section 2.6 presents a classification of the types of DBMS packages. Section 2.7 summarizes the chapter.

 

The material in Sections 2.4 through 2.6 provides more detailed concepts that may be considered as supplementary to the basic introductory material.

 

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