Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing the data that is used to support a company’s business operations. It includes data storage and distribution to users and application programs and modifying it as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall infrastructure of a business that aids in decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

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

A database is tables that organize data in accordance with a specific arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, also known as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. Relational models, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most popular database type in the present. The design 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 certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational concerns including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the way the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on the various data models) and could also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.