Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing information that a company needs to run its business operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from getting corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s informational infrastructure which aids in decision making, corporate growth and compliance with laws such as 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 information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve large amounts data for a wide range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is tables that organize data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are among the most widely used type of database currently. This design is based on normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the necessity of changing various databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on the various data models) and may include virtual tables which are generated using generic data to improve performance.

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