Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing the information that is used to support a company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users making edits as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that supports decision making in corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

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

A database is a set of tables which organize data in accordance with an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that provide information about data entities. The most widely used type of database currently is a relational model, designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require the modification of many sections of the databases.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on costs, scalability, and other operational concerns such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It can include a mixture of different external views based on different models of data and may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to enhance the performance.