Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that supports the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage and distribution to users and application programs and then modifying it if necessary and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall infrastructure of a business that supports decision making in 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 came up with the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS), which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is tables that are organized according to some arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most popular type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is focused on costs, scalability and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on the various data models) and can also include virtual tables that are created from data that is generic to enhance performance.

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