A distributed database system is one that consists of two or more files spread across various places, whether they are connected by the same network or not. The database is split up into different physical places for storage and processing, and there are numerous database nodes involved.


Data is conceptually integrated by a centralized distributed database system management system (DDBMS) so that it may be managed as if it were all kept in one place. Periodically, the DDBMS synchronizes all the data, ensuring that deletions and modifications made at one location will automatically appear in the data stored elsewhere.

A centralized database, in contrast, consists of a single database file that is located at a single location across a single network.

The characteristics of distributed databases

Distributed databases are logically connected to one another when they are part of a collection, and they frequently form a single logical database. Data is physically stored across various sites and is separately handled in distributed databases. Each site’s processors are connected to one another via a network, but they are not set up for multiprocessing.

distributed database system

A widespread misunderstanding is that a distributed database system is equivalent to a loosely coupled file system. It’s considerably more complicated than that in reality. Although distributed databases use transaction processing, they are not the same as systems that use them.

Generally speaking, distributed databases have the following characteristics:

  1. Location unrelated
  2. spread-out query processing
  3. The administration of distributed transactions
  4. independent of hardware
  5. independent of an operating system
  6. independent of a network
  7. Transparency of transactions
  8. DBMS unrelated

Architecture for a Distributed Database System

Both homogeneous and heterogeneous distributed databases exist.

All of the physical sites in a homogeneous distributed database system use the same operating system and database software, as well as the same underlying hardware. It can be significantly simpler to build and administer homogenously distributed database systems since they seem to the user as a single system.

The data structures at each location must either be the same or compatible for a distributed database system to be considered homogeneous. Additionally, the database program utilized at each location must be compatible or identical.

Architecture for a Distributed Database System

The hardware, operating systems, or database applications at each location may vary in a heterogeneous distributed database. Although separate sites may employ various technologies and schemas, a difference in schema might make query and transaction processing challenges.

Different nodes might have dissimilar hardware, software, and data structures, or they might be situated in incompatible places. Users may be able to access data stored at a different place but not upload or modify it. Because heterogeneous distributed databases are frequently challenging to use, many organizations find them to be economically unviable.

Distributed Databases System’s Benefits

Utilizing distributed databases has a lot of benefits.

Since distributed databases support modular development, systems can be enlarged by putting new computers and local data at a new location and seamlessly connecting them to the distributed system.

In centralized databases, failures result in a total shutdown of the system. Distributed database systems, however, continue to operate with lower performance when a component fails until the issue is resolved.

If the data is close to where it is most frequently utilized, administrators can reduce communication costs for distributed database systems. Centralized systems are unable to accommodate this.

Many Distributed Database System Types

Data instances are created in various areas of the database using replicated data. Distributed databases can access identical data locally by using duplicated data, which reduces traffic. Read-only and writable data are the two types of replicated data that can be distinguished.

Only the initial instance of replicated data can be changed in read-only versions; all subsequent corporate data replications are then updated. Data that is writable can be changed, but only the initial occurrence is affected.

Primary keys that point to a single database record are used to identify horizontally fragmented data. Horizontal fragmentation is typically used when business locations only want access to the database for their own branch.

Distributed Database System Types

Utilizing primary keys that are duplicates of each other and accessible to each branch of the database is how vertically fragmented data is organized. When a company’s branch and central location deal with the same accounts differently, vertically fragmented data is used.

Data that has been edited or modified for decision support databases is referred to as reorganized data. When two different systems are handling transactions and decision support, reorganized data is generally used. When there are numerous requests, online transaction processing must be reconfigured, and decision support systems might be challenging to manage.

In order to accommodate various departments and circumstances, separate schema data separates the database and the software used to access it. Typically, there is overlap between many databases and separate schema data.