Database Management Basics

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

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that organizes data in accordance with a specific pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. The most widely used type of database that is currently in use is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also simpler to update data because it does not require the changing of several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of different external views that are based on different models of data and could include virtual tables that are computed using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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