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, distributing it to applications and users making changes as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from becoming corrupted by unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

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

A database is a set of tables that organizes data in accordance with a specific pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “TedCodd Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most widely used type of database currently. This design is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it simpler to update data, avoiding the need to modify different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational concerns such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views based on different data models. It may include virtual table that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.

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