Database Management Basics

Database management is the system for managing data that supports the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users, modifying it as necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from getting corrupted due to unexpected failures. It is a component of the overall infrastructure of a business that aids in decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS), which allowed large amounts data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that store data according to a particular scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, also known as attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most widely used type of database today. This model is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also easier to update data because it does not require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on different data models) and could also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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