Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of coordinating the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users making edits as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is part of the overall infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making and corporate growth 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that arrange 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 contains a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. The most popular type of database today 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 easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the need to update different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables that are created using generic data to improve performance.