Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing information that aids the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage and distribution to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from getting corrupted by unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that store data in accordance with a specific arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most well-known type of database currently is a relational model, created by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It also makes it simpler to update data by avoiding the need to change various databases.

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Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational issues including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views based on different models of data and may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to enhance the performance.

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