Database Management Basics

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

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

A database is a collection of tables that arrange data according to a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data because it does not require changing many sections of the databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support various types of databases, by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is focused on costs, scalability and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of various external views based on different data models and may include virtual table that are calculated using generic data to improve the performance.