Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing information that aids the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users making changes as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being damaged due to unexpected failures. It is a part of the entire informational infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) which enabled the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a variety of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data according to a specific pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, called attributes, that provide information about the data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM as a database, are the most well-known database type today. This model is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data by avoiding the necessity of changing different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the way the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of various external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables that are constructed from generic data to improve performance.

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