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Object-Oriented and Database Management Systems Tradeoffs


Database Management Systems (DBMS) is a major requirement in any organizational setup, and one of the most popular DBMS is the Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). It is formatively one of the most significant landmarks made towards understanding the hypothetical and technological framework of a database. Although it has traditionally been successful in satisfying the most requirements of information systems, the complexity and the integrated form of modern information systems has called for the use and the eventual popularity of Object-oriented Database Management Systems. This is due to the revelation of some major shortcomings associated with relational databases as compared to object-oriented databases in terms of both design and structure that play a significant role in the overall application progress and process. Since most companies are now into the commercialization of object-oriented databases, this has greatly augmented an emphasis on process integration, which is the motivating force towards the espousal of Object-oriented Database Systems (OODBMS), despite the steadfast attachment to most relational database systems due to their user-friendly designs.

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Advantages of RDBMS and OODBMS

Relational Database Management Systems

This is the most admired and well-accepted database management system since it supports an array of vendor implementations that offer solutions to problems that use comprehendible programming languages such as Oracle and Visual Basic, while results are given for its general overview. Minimum training is required for both students and professionals who find this appropriate for simple reference as it can also be used on all database systems that run on any computer kind and size (Gupta, 2009). The relational model also provides a distinct physical and logical characteristic of a database, which gives users a more instinctive view of data as it incorporates an even more powerful retrieval system and update operators. This allows the execution of complex operations by using succinct commands and simplified query stem. Most significantly, the RDBMS model does supply analysts with an array of powerful tools that enables them to know when and if a database has intrinsic flaws in its design with a simplified interface of the database in a generally consistent manner. Moreover, maintenance of data in an RDBMS does not necessarily need the help of a programmer.

Object-oriented Database Management Systems

Object-oriented database systems have played a significant role in the overall process of application design since their object classes are consistent with the programming language used for the OODMS models. This does not call for any unique model transformation to the program’s object so that the database manager can comprehend. The design of OODBMS also has a rich structure of data with a complex database that includes class hierarchies, data objects, active data, and methods that all bring flexibility and power to the database system while increasing the discovery of database knowledge and complexity. In addition, although relational databases do not allow for user-defined data types, object databases allow their users to randomly define complex data types that are similar to the programming language nested in their hierarchies as it incorporates operators for both structured and reference types. Object databases also have various attributes such as bags, sets, lists, and other containers that are conventionally suitable for representing query results that have numerous objects, and this gives a high value of eliminating any impedance mismatch (Gupta, 2009). This means that object databases have a persistent way of carrying data since their rich data structures extend to the programming language and not any external service has a limited and constricted interface as witnessed in relational databases. Object databases also safeguard a strong typing amity for effective communication between applications and the design structure and type of the database system as it supports large storage and manipulation of various data types such as Binary Large Object (BLOB) and Character Large Objects (CLOB).

Disadvantages of RDBMS and OODBMS

RDBMS shortcomings

One of the most significant flaws to relational database systems is their simplified design and usage, which can result in database management systems being poorly designed, developed, and implemented while data corruption, performance degradation, and system slowdown can also be experienced if the database size is broadened at all. The operating cost of RDBMS hardware is also expensive as they will need relatively powerful hardware to relay the hidden complexities in its implementation and also the details of physical data storage to its end-users. Since relational database systems are also simplified for both their use and implementation, issues such as data redundancy, inconsistency, and duplication may arise in an organizational setup as anyone can create their very own applications and databases (Ward & Dafoulas, 2006). This will also hinder the much-required integration of information. Relational database systems can also not handle more advanced and complex applications at a faster rate as opposed to object database systems. This form of a system does not support inheritance also has no set-valued attributes and a programmer is largely needed to define the data access language and the host language to eliminate an impedance mismatch as opposed to object database systems that do not require such conditions.

OODBMS Drawbacks

One of the main tradeoffs to this database system is its lack of precise definition of what it constitutes as the name itself applies to a variety of prototypes and products which are all significantly different from each other. It is also difficult to maintain as the definition of objects periodically changes and this creates an authentic challenge when migrating databases as opposed to relational databases that do not impose on periodical change. In addition, it is not widely used as it is significant in situations where it calls for complex management of data objects. In other words, it is specifically designed for a limited set of applications (Ward & Dafoulas, 2006). It also has a high maintenance cost since it calls for high processing necessities while using expensive high-end hardware.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid systems over RDBMS and OODBMS

As the industry gained momentum with the introduction of commercialized database systems, a new generation of a hybrid system was introduced as it embodies the concept of both relational and object-oriented database systems since it stores data in the OO formation or relational formation, therefore, allowing programmers to access the information in whichever method they prefer. This hybrid system is either known as an object-relational Database System (ORDBMS) or also as an Enhanced Relational database system (ERDBMS) since both the RDBMS and OODBMS incorporate major signs of strengths and weaknesses. This form of the system integrates data from the RDBMS and OODBMS as it maximizes the full potential of advanced applications that has unfamiliar design structure to the two conventional database systems (Baba, Jain & Howlett, 2001). The only setback is that since it simplifies data relationships it has a potential chance of lowering data efficiency.

Bloor’s Analysis on Cache Technology guide

Cache technology is a system developed by InterSystems as a placement for relational database systems as it takes advantage of what most professional programmers require to offer them with client/server and web-based applications while also providing them with programming languages, tools, and other means of accessing data. Bloor sees a much better view of this technology as it improves the processing time of transaction-based applications by giving them huge scalability, reliability, and instantaneous data analysis system for exceptional data integration and performance (Perry & Newmark, 2011). Generally, Bloor’s paper values both commercial use and end-users who value more updates on past and future technologies on database management systems.

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Even though RDBMS systems are boundless dictating the largest part of the market, various companies are now cashing in on the development and implementation of Object-oriented database systems and the partially used hybrid systems since they are new-generation products that almost perfectly ‘fit’ the modern market and DBMS needs. This has seen a remarkable growth of OODBMS and applications which now calls for even more efficient and powerful tools for data analysis. The best conclusion is to use the hybrid database system as it contains fewer flaws by fusing the strengths of both RDBMS and OODBMS technologies and all users can take advantage of the OO design and capabilities it incorporates towards full data integration.


Baba, N., Jain, L. C. & Howlett, R. J. (2001). Knowledge-based intelligent information Engineering systems & allied technologies: KES’2001, Volume 5. Amsterdam, Netherlands: IOS Press. ISBN-1586031929, 9781586031923.

Gupta, D. (2009). Database Management System Oracle SQL and Pl/SQL. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. ISBN-8120339207, 9788120339200.

Perry, J.T. & Newmark, R. (2010). Building Accounting Systems Using Access 2010. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. ISBN-1111530998, 9781111530990.

Ward, P. & Dafoulas, G. (2006). Database Management Systems. Cengage Learning EMEA. ISBN-1844804526, 9781844804528.

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