Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing the data that is used to support a company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users and then modifying it if necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted by unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s overall informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and growth of the company 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data according to a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. The most widely used type of database that is currently in use is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require changing certain sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational issues like the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It can include a mixture of external views based on different data models. It can include virtual tables that are computed with generic data to enhance the performance.

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