Overview Almost everyone uses a database in one form or another. Your e-mail client stores address data and archived e-mail messages. Big businesses use databases to store customer information and product details. The IRS maintains a database with tax records for every person who files a tax return. Database management software helps people maintain data on every level, from the smallest personal database, to the largest commercial database. But what exactly is a DBMS? Which one is right for you? How do they work? You can find answers to these and other questions by following the links below.

General DBMS Resources DBMS (database management system) tools are used to analyze and manipulate databases. Most commercial DBMSs use the relational model, but object oriented DBMSs also exist. With the popularity of XML increasing, more and more DBMSs support XML, and some, like the XML DBMS, are designed specifically with XML in mind. General information about different types of DBMSs can be found at dmoz.org/Computers/Software/Databases. You can read reviews of many different database software packages by visiting the CNET database software review page. This Google Directory page contains many different and valuable resources regarding database software including information about specific database software and technologies.

RDBMS The relational database management system (RDBMS) is perhaps the most popular type of DBMS in use today. For descriptions of many commercial, shareware, and GPL RDBMS software packages, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki. A popular open-source RDBMS, known as Leap, is available for download at leap.sourceforge.net. It is freely distributed under the terms of the General Public License (GPL). You might be familiar with Microsoft Access (www.office.microsoft.com). It is an industry-standard RDBMS included in the ubiquitous Microsoft Office suite. Lotus Approach (www-306.ibm.com/software/lotus) is another popular RDBMS available from IBM. 

OODBMS The object-oriented database management system (OODBMS) has gained considerable popularity in the last few years due to its flexibility and compatibility. For descriptions and links to various commercial, shareware, and GPL OODBMS software packages, visit www.peterindia.net/OODBMSLinks.html. This Google directory page also contains many links to additional object-oriented database software resources. Finally, OODBMS articles, FAQs, and product comparisons are just a few of the resources that can be found at www.odbmsfacts.com.

XML DBMS The XML database management system, or XML DBMS, is a new technology that is primarily used to store XML data for a wide variety of applications. Read more about the XML DBMS on the XML: DB Initiative for XML Databases page (http://xmldb-org.sourceforge.net/index.html). One XML database software package, XML-DBMS, is used for transferring data between XML and relational databases. Visit the www.rpbourret.com/xmldbms/index.htm page to read about, and download, this powerful software. This article XML and Database? Follow your Nose by Leigh Dodds will help to shed some light on the pros and cons of the XML DBMS.