Database Management Basics

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

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed for the storage and retrieve large amounts data for a broad range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is tables that organize data according to some 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, referred to as attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most popular database type currently. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data because it doesn’t require changing several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level concerns the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the way the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a mix of different external views that are based on different data models. It may include virtual table that are computed with generic data to enhance the performance.

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