Database Management Basics

Database management is the system for managing data that supports an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data and distribution to users and application programs making changes as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged due to unexpected failures. It is an integral part of the entire informational infrastructure of a company which supports decision-making and corporate growth 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 evolved into information management systems (IMS) that made it possible to store and retrieve large amounts of data for a broad range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a set of tables that organizes data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of attributes, or fields, that contain information about data entities. The most popular kind of database is a relational model created 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 since it does not require the changing of various databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level concerns costs, scalability and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on the various data models) and may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve performance.

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