File System vs. Database

Difference Between File System and Database

File system and data base are the method of storing, retrieving, manipulating data. Both allow the user to use the data in the same way. Raw data files are stored in the hard drive in the form of a File System. On the other hand database helps in storing, manipulating, and retrieving data. Organized data are called database which can be used by the user or users. Databases can be classified according to the content. For example, document text, statistical data, bibliographic data etc. Data are physically stored in files in a database.

File system

In a file system data are stored in a set of files electronically. If a file stores only one table, it is called flat file. The table contains values in each row separated with a delimiter. File should be read as per the sequence because there is no control mechanism in files. Rows are to be parsed and loaded in an array at run time so as to query some random data. It is time consuming practice because a user has to locate the necessary file going line by line and has to check the existence of certain data. File systems are vulnerable to inconsistency, data isolation, not maintaining concurrency and lack of security.


A database contains the three levels of architectures. They are external, conceptual and internal data base architecture. External level is concerned with user views the data. One database can have multiple views. The internal level is concerned with how the data is stored in physical form. The conceptual level is the medium of communication between external and internal levels. It facilitates a unique view of the database regardless of how it is stored. Databases are of several types such as data warehouses, analytical databases, distributed databases. Databases are made of tables containing rows and columns just as a excel spread sheet. Each row represents a single record while each column represents an attribute. Databases are accompanied by DBMS or Database Management System which helps in creating, storing, and organizing data.

Difference between File system and Database

In a file system, data are stored while database is a collection of organized data. Both databases and File systems are the ways of managing data. But databases have more advantages. Storing and retrieval of data from a file system is a tedious task as the search is done manually. On the other hand, the DBMS provides automated method to complete the task. Problems like data inconsistency, data integrity, and security are faces while using file system. On the other hand, databases are efficient. It provides some control mechanism.


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