Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing the data that supports a company’s business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to users and application programs making changes as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted by unexpected failures. It is a part of the overall informational infrastructure of a business that supports decision making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

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

A database is a set of tables that organizes data in accordance with an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields called attributes which provide information about data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “TedCodd Codd in the 1970s at IBM as a database, are the most well-known database type today. This design is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to change different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational issues such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the way the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a mix of various external views based on different data models. It also may include virtual table that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.