Database Management Basics

Database management is the method to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the entire informational infrastructure of a business that supports decision making in corporate growth, as well as 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 the information management systems (IMS) that allowed for the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a wide range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complex financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is a set of tables that organizes data in accordance with a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that contain information about data entities. The most widely used type of database that is currently in use 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 easier to update data because it does not require the changing of several databases.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, like the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It can include a mixture of different external views that are based on different data models. It also can include virtual tables that are computed using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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