Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to data and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the informational infrastructure of a company that supports decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which enabled the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a set of tables that are organized according to a certain schema, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of attributes or fields that contain information about data entities. The most popular type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, developed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it easier to update data by avoiding the need to modify several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level concerns cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on the various data models) and may include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.