Database Management Basics
Database management is a system for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users, modifying it as necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged due to unexpected failures. It is a part of the informational infrastructure of a business that aids in decision-making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that allowed the storage and retrieve large amounts information for a range of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.
A database is a set of tables that arrange data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, which provide information about data entities. The most popular type of database currently is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data because it does not require the changing of certain sections of the database.
Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability and other operational concerns 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 could include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables which are generated using generic data to improve performance.