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Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing information that supports an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring the changes in the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s overall informational infrastructure which 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 information management systems (IMS) which allowed massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory, to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that organizes data in accordance with the specific scheme, for example one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about data entities. The most popular type of database today 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 doesn’t require the modification of several databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple database types by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is focused on 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 may include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are created using generic data to improve performance.

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