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Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of coordinating the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it as required and monitoring changes to data and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a component of the entire informational infrastructure of a business that supports decision making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a broad range of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a set of tables that organize data according to a certain pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields called attributes that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most popular database type today. This model is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require the modification of various databases.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level concerns 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 may include a mix of various external views based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to enhance the performance.

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