Compare a traditional RDMS with a data warehouse


Business is a core component of life in today’s contemporarysociety. As such, it is essential for people to find out new andingenious ways of conducting business in order to be efficient andeffective. Speed and accuracy are also essential in conductingbusiness. Technology has been one of the most essential components ofconducting business (Database Technology, 2012). Different businesswill adopt varying technological aspects in order to compete withtheir rivals and also to conduct their businesses effectively. One ofthe key challenges that numerous businesses face is the storage ofand its manipulation for use and analysis. Additionally, it isevident that some businesses employ thousands of employees across theworld and therefore require an efficient means of storing andmanipulating their data. The two major tools that companies use tostore and analyze data are the Relational Database Management Systems(RDMS) or data warehouses. It is worth noting that the two tools aresimilar in that they are data storage tools but they, however, storeand avail data for manipulation and analysis differently. Each toolis designed in such a way that the end result is achieved effectivelyand efficiently. The following discussion highlights some of thedifferences and the similarities between the RDMS and a warehouse.

To start with, the Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS)comprises of data that is organized into tables, fields and records.The tables in RDMS consist of various rows while the rows consists oftables fields. Data is mainly stored in the fields where the endusers can access and manipulate it. Additionally, the end users canalso share the data that is stored in the fields. There are variousexamples of RDMS’s which are, but not limited to MS SQL server,MYSQL and Microsoft Access. Research has indicated that theseapplications contain software that is essential in enabling the endusers to share the stored data easily. One of the primary elements ofany data storage tool is to ensure that the data stored is secure,safe and its integrity of guaranteed. Additionally, data storagetools must have access control and optimization measures for thestored data. The RDMS, as one of the leading data storage tools mustensure that the data stored is protected and its access control(Database Directory, 2014). With the existence of a software thatcontrols the sharing and access of data, RDMS has perfected this art.In other words, the RDMS can be described in layman’s language asthe management system that manages business’s databases.

Different databases handle different types or forms of data.Research has indicated that there are databases that are clusteredtogether for ease of access of the data and its manipulation. One ofthe primary characteristics of the RDMS is that it can gather all theinformation from the different databases and maintain its integrity,as well as control its access and manipulation. The RelationalDatabase Management Systems has various advantages over other datastorage and management tools. One of the primary advantages of theRDMS is that it enables the control of the access of the data.Equally, the RDMS enables the enforcement of integrity constraints onthe stored data (DBMS basic concepts.docx, 2014). Lastly, theRelational Database Management Systems is one of the data storagetools that provide end users with multiple user interfaces, as wellas enabling the control of data redundancy.

It is clear from the discussion regarding the Relational DatabaseManagement Systems that this is a tool that is easily used andapplied by the end users to organize data, track and modify it. Thetool also enables the end users to maneuver within one or moredatabases with ease. As stated above, RDMS constitutes of varioustools which manage data (Shaun, 2011). The availability of variousRDMS tools such as MYSQL and Microsoft access has enabled the datamanipulation tool to gain popularity and to have enormous userfriendly interfaces. Additionally, data security and integrity hasbeen improved significantly due to the competition amongst thevarious tool developers. Research has indicated that RDMS tools arethe most widely used data storage and manipulation tool. Numerouslocal and multinational companies are using the RDMS tool to storeand manage their data. The high usage for the tool can be attributedto its user friendly interface and its ability to manage data inmultiple databases with each having different data. However, it isessential to note that these are not only the tools for managing datathat are available.

As stated earlier, data warehousing is another form data storage andmanipulation. William H. Inmon, Building the Data Warehouse (1996)argues that the idea behind a warehouse is to have a nonvolatile,integrated, subject oriented and a time variant data collection whichsupports the management in their decision making. Data warehouse hasbeen said to be a way of querying data from a database. However, itis essential to note that this is a historical point of view. Recentresearch and data management developments have found out that datawarehouse is more of an analytical tool as opposed to a transactionaltool in database management systems. Data is mainly stored in awarehouse for later use. Additionally, some companies have been usingthe data warehouse as a possible backup for their data.

Data warehouse enables the end users to access data from a centralpoint and use it for analysis. It is essential to state that data inthe warehouse is collected from different sources which include butare not limited to flat files, operational systems and other datasources. This data is stored in the warehouse in form of raw data,summary data or metadata (Oracle9i Data Warehousing Guide, 2014). Endusers have access to this data and can use it for analysis, reportingor for other uses. A data warehouse enables data to be stored in acentral location where it can be retrieved anytime. It is clear thatthis is an effective and nonvolatile means of data retrieval. A datawarehouse ensures that once data has been put in place, it will notbe altered and in other words it should not be altered. This featureis the reason that data warehouse has largely been used as a tool forstoring data for analytical reasons.

DBMS can be viewed as a relational data input which is used for readand write purposes within a database. In other words, data is storedin tables and rows where it can be retrieved later when required.Often, data may need to be stored for historical reasons. Since datawarehouses are meant for analytical processing and read only optionswith nonvolatile data, they are essential for storing data forhistorical purposes (Shaun, 2011). It is essential to realize thatthe two discussed tools are used differently by various companies tostore and manage or manipulate their data (Database Technology,2012). With the current continued change in technology, it is clearthat there will be enormous developments in data storage andmanagement software and tools.


Database Technology. (2012). In C. S. Mullins, DatabaseAdministration: The Complete Guide to DBA Practices and Procedures(p. 8). Ann Arbor, MI: Pearson Education Inc.

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Oracle9i Data Warehousing Guide. (2014, May 4). What is a DataWarehouse. Retrieved from:

Shaun E. Thoughts, Rants, and Commentary. Definition ofDatabase – Integrated Organization and Self Describing: (2011,Sept 24). Retrieved from: content/uploads/2011/09/database-concept-2.jpg

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