Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing data that supports the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It’s a component of a company’s informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and corporate growth, 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 developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed the storage and retrieve large amounts of data for a variety of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of tables that store data according to some schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields called attributes that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “TedCodd Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most well-known database type in the present. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the need to change many sections of the database.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of different external views that are based on different models of data and may also include virtual tables that are calculated with generic data to enhance the performance.