Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of coordinating the information that supports a company’s business operations. It includes data storage and distribution to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged by unexpected failures. It is a component of the informational infrastructure of a business that assists in decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve large amounts information for a range of purposes, from calculating 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 utilizes primary key to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, referred to as attributes, that contain information about the data entities. The most popular type of database currently is a relational model, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data by avoiding the need to change many sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability and other operational issues including the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of external views based on different data models and could include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.