What is the difference between centralized and distributed DBMS?

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DBMS (Database management system)

Database management system is a software which is used by the organizations to store and manage the data in an efficient manner (Ramamurthy, 2017). This system helps in maintaining the security and integrity of the data. There are two types of database management system such as:

  • Distributed database system
  • Centralized database system

Distributed database system:

Distributed database management system is basically a set of multiple and logical interrelated database which is distributed over the network. It includes single database which is further divided into sub fragments. Each fragment is integrated with each other and is controlled by individual database. It provides a mechanism that helps the users in distributing the data transparently. Distributed database management system is mostly used in warehouse to access and process the database of the clients at single time.

Centralized database management system:

Centralized data base is another type of database system which is located, maintained and stored in a single location such as mainframe computer. Data stored in the centralized DBMS is distributed across the network computers. It includes set of records which can easily be accessed from any location by using internet connection such as WAN and LAN.  Centralized database system is commonly used in the organizations such as banks, schools, colleges etc to manage all their data in an appropriate manner (Onsman, 2018).


Centralized DBMS

Distributed DBMS

Data is stored only on one site

Data is stored on different sites

Data stored in single computer can be used by multiple users

Data is stored over different sites which are connected with each other.

If centralized system fails, then the entire system is halted.

If one of the system fails, then user can access the data from other sites.

Centralized DBMS is less reliable and reactive

Distributed DBMS is more reliable and reactive

Centralized DBMS is less sophisticated

Distributed DBMS is more sophisticated


Advantages and disadvantages of Centralized DBMS:


  • With the help of centralized database management system, organizations an easily communicate with each other in less time. This approach basically allows the team members of an organization to work on cross-functional projects. It becomes easy for the team members to analyse the data and complete the tasks with good quality.
  • By using centralized database system, individuals and teams can easily share their ideas with each other. It becomes easy for the organization to co-ordinate their work with the team members and achieve their business goals.
  • Centralized database system also provides high level of security.
  • Most of the organizations prefer to use centralized database to reduce the conflicts within the organization. Sharing the information with each other leads to a happier working environment.

Disadvantages of Centralized database:

  • Organizations may face issues while using centralized database due to heavy workload requirements. Organizations may face difficulty in creating their own silos for the purpose of self-protection.
  • While using centralized database system, responsibility of local managers will be reduced. This can have a negative impact on the morale of the local managers.
  • While using centralized database system, organizations may have to spend more money to manage and store the data (THAKUR, 2018).

Advantages and disadvantages of Distributed database system:


  • Distributed database system reflects the organizational structure in an appropriate manner. It becomes easy to access the organizational data in an effective manner.
  • By using one particular site, users can access the data stored at different sites easily and effectively.
  • Distributed database system also improves the availability, reliability and performance of the organization. Failure of one site allow the users to access the information from other sites easily.
  • Distributed database system helps the organizations to handle their growth expansion. Increase in the database size can easily be managed by using distributed database system.


  • Distributed database system increases the complexity and cost of the organization. It becomes difficult for the organization to maintain and manage the local database management system due to which organizations may face difficulty to establish a network between the sites.
  • In distributed database system, it becomes difficult for the organizations to control the replicate data.
  • While using distributed database system, organizations may face difficulty in maintaining the database integrity. Organizations have to spend more communication and processing cost to enforce the integrity constraints.
  • While using distributed database system, organizations cannot use static SQL.
  • Organizations may face difficulty in allocating the fragments and to design the distributed database system (Meador, 2018).


  • Meador, D. (2018). DDBMS Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved from https://www.tutorialspoint.com/DDBMS-Advantages-and-Disadvantages
  • Onsman, A. (2018). Centralized Database Management System. Retrieved from https://www.tutorialspoint.com/Centralized-Database-Management-System
  • Ramamurthy, G. (2017). What is DMBS?. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-DMBS
  • THAKUR, D. (2018). What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Distributed Database Management System?. Retrieved from http://ecomputernotes.com/database-system/adv-database/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-ddbms