Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users making edits as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s overall informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws like 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 large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables which organize data according to a specific pattern, such as one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a variety of fields, also known as attributes, that contain information about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM as a database, are the most popular database type currently. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level focuses on costs, scalability, and other operational issues including the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level focuses on how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a mixture of different external views based on different data models. It also could include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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