Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to users and applications and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s overall informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and corporate growth, as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented 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 information for a range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of tables that are organized according to a particular schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, which provide information about data entities. The most widely used type of database that is currently in use is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to modify several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, as well as other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database is represented in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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