Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of coordinating the information that is used to support a company’s business operations. It includes data storage and distribution to users and application programs and modifying it as needed and monitoring the changes in the data and preventing it from becoming damaged due to unexpected failures. It is an element of an organization’s overall informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making, corporate growth and 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed massive 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 set of tables that store data according to some schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table has a collection of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. The most well-known type of database currently is a relational model developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data since it eliminates the need to change different sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of different external views that are based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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