Database Management Basics

Database management is the system for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users and modifying it as needed and monitoring the changes in the data and preventing it from getting damaged by unexpected failures. It is one component of a company’s total informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) that allowed for the storage and retrieve large amounts of information for a range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most widely used type of database in the present. This design is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the necessity of changing several databases.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational concerns including the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It can include a mixture of various external views based on different data models and may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to improve the performance.