Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that aids the organization’s business processes. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users and modifying it as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure. It’s a component of a company’s total informational infrastructure that supports decision-making, corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They evolved 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 supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that are organized according to a certain schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records, and also allows cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes, or fields, which provide information about data entities. The most popular type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also simpler to update data because it doesn’t require changing several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability and other operational issues including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the way the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of various external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are constructed from generic data in order to improve performance.

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