Database Management Basics

Database management is the system for managing data that supports the business operations of an organization. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It’s a component of a company’s total 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.

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 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 that store data according to a particular pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, also known as attributes, which 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 used database type in the present. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data because it does not require changing several databases.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is focused on costs, scalability and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of different 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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