Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing data that supports the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted by unexpected failure. It’s a component of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making, corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed for the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a collection of tables that store data according to a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, known as attributes, which provide information about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are among the most used database type in the present. This design is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require the changing of various databases.

Most DBMSs can support various types of databases, by providing different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level addresses costs, scalability, and other operational concerns such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve performance.

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