Some main differences between a database management system and a file-processing system are:
• Both systems contain a collection of data and a set of programs which access that data. A database management system coordinates both the physical and the logical access to the data, whereas a file-processing system coordinates only the physical access.
• A database management system reduces the amount of data duplication by ensuring that a physical piece of data is available to all programs authorized to have access to it, whereas data written by one program in a file-processing system may not be readable by another program.
• A database management system is designed to allow flexible access to data (i.e., queries), whereas a file-processing system is designed to allow predetermined access to data (i.e., compiled programs).
• A database management system is designed to coordinate multiple users accessing the same data at the same time. A file-processing system is usually designed to allow one or more programs to access different data files at the same time. In a file-processing system, a file can be accessed by two programs concurrently only if both programs have read-only access to the file.
2. Explain the difference between physical and logical data independence.
• Physical data independence is the ability to modify the physical scheme without making it necessary to rewrite application programs. Such modifications include changing from unblocked to blocked record storage, or from sequential to random access files.
• Logical data independence is the ability to modify the conceptual scheme without making it necessary to rewrite application programs. Such a modification might be adding a field to a record; an application program’s view hides this change from the program.