Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing data that supports the business operations of an organization. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications, editing it as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data according to a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are the most used database type currently. This model is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It also makes it easier to update data without the need to modify many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of different external views that are based on different data models. It may include virtual table that are calculated using generic data to enhance the performance.