all the DBMS can do is enforce those decisions

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Senior Member
Can you please explain 'enforce' here (its meaning)?

Now, regardless of whether we are dealing with a discretionary scheme or a mandatory one, all decisions as to which users are allowed to perform which operations on which objects are policy decisions, not technical ones. They are thus clearly outside the jurisdiction of the DBMS as such; all the DBMS can do is enforce those decisions once they are made.

Introduction to Database Systems, J. Date
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The meanings don't all include the application of force. They include "to compel obedience to".

    The DBMS compels the users to comply with the decisions on access. If you don't have the right credentials, you can't access or manipulate the data. "Enforce" seems to me to be perfectly reasonable there.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Consider an instructor who gives a student a B in a course and realizes later that this grade should have been B+. Can an instructor change a student's grade after it has been recorded, or must that be done by someone higher up in the university? That is a policy decision. The DBMS cannot make that decision. Only people in the university administration can make it.

    If that policy decision is "no," the DBMS can reject a grade change if the role of the person requesting the change is not, for example, department chair or dean. That is what enforcing a decision means here.
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