In traditional file processing, the structure of data files is embedded in the application programs, so any changes to the structure of a file may require changing all programs that access that file. By contrast, DBMS access programs do not require such changes in most cases. The structure of data files is stored in the DBMS catalog separately from the access programs. We call this property program-data independence
An operation (also called a function or method) is specified in two parts. The interface (or signature) of an operation includes the operation name and the data types of its arguments (or parameters). The implementation (or method) of the operation is specified separately and can be changed without affecting the interface. User application programs can operate on the data by invoking these operations through their names and arguments, regardless of how the operations are implemented. This may be termed program-operation independence
The characteristic that allows program-data independence and program-operation independence is called data abstraction. A DBMS provides users with a conceptual representation of data that does not include many of the details of how the data is stored or how the operations are implemented
A data model is a type of data abstraction that is used to provide this conceptual representation. The data model uses logical concepts, such as objects, their properties, and their interrelationships, that may be easier for most users to understand than computer storage concepts. Hence, the data model hides storage and implementation details that are not of interest to most database users.