Database Management Basics

Database management is the system to manage information that is essential to the business operations of an organization. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is part of the overall infrastructure of a company which supports decision-making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others came up with the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS) that enabled the storage and retrieve huge amounts of data for a variety of purposes, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of tables that organize data according to some schema, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and allow cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. The most well-known type of database today is a relational model designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It also makes it easier to update data, avoiding the necessity of changing several databases.

Most DBMSs can accommodate various types of databases, by providing different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability and other operational concerns including the layout of the physical storage. The external level is how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of different external views that are based on different models of data and may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.

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