Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing information that aids the business operations of an organization. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall infrastructure of a business that supports decision making in corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and 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 huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that are organized according to a certain pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, that contain information about the data entities. The most popular type of database currently is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data since it does not require the changing of many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability and other operational issues including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level determines how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables that are created from generic data in order to improve performance.

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