Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing data that supports the business operations of an organization. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users and editing it as required and monitoring changes to the data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that aids in decision-making in 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 along with other companies developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed the storage and retrieve large amounts of 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 arrange data 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 has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. The most widely used type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the need to change different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. 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 different data models and may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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