Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing information that supports the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data, disseminating it to users and applications, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that supports decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies developed the first database systems. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of tables that organize data according to a certain schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require changing many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational issues such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of external views based on different data models. It also may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to enhance the performance.

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