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Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing information that supports a business’s operations. It involves storing data and distribution to users and applications and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming damaged by unexpected failures. It is an integral part of the entire informational infrastructure of a company that supports 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 made it possible to store and retrieve huge amounts of data for a wide range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a set of tables that organize data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes, or fields, that provide information about data entities. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also simpler to update data since it does not require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of different external views based on different data models. It also could include virtual tables that are computed with generic data to enhance the performance.

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