Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing information that a company needs to run its business operations. It includes data storage and distribution to users and application programs, modifying it as necessary and monitoring the changes in the data and preventing it from getting damaged due to unexpected failure. It is part of the overall infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that allowed for the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of uses, 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 among tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require changing several databases.

Most DBMSs can support different types of databases by offering different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the way the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of different external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables that are constructed using generic data to improve performance.