Database Management Basics

Database management is a system to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It includes data storage and distribution to users and application programs and then modifying it if necessary, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is an element of an organization’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.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed 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 purposes. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that arrange data in accordance with the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, called attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. The most widely used kind of database is a relational model developed 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 also makes it simpler to update data since it eliminates the need to modify different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational issues including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database is displayed in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a mix of external views based on different data models. It could include virtual tables that are computed with generic data to enhance the performance.

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