Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of coordinating the information that is used to support a company’s business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is part of the informational infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory, to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables which organize data according to a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, referred to as attributes, that provide information about the data entities. The most popular kind of database is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also easier to update data since it does not require the changing of several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational concerns like the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on different data models) and can also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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