Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users and modifying it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from being damaged due to unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s total informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies developed the first database systems. They developed into information management systems (IMS), which allowed massive 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 consists of tables that store data in accordance with a specific scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM and IBM, are among the most widely used type of database today. The design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it simpler to update data since it eliminates the need to update many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support various types of databases, by providing different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability, and other operational issues, such as the physical layout of the database. The external level is how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on the various data models) and may include virtual tables that are computed from data that is generic to enhance performance.