Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that aids an organization’s business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to users and applications, editing it as needed as well as monitoring changes in data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall infrastructure of a company that aids in decision-making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and 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) that allowed for the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a broad range of uses, from calculating inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database is tables that arrange data according to a certain arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and permits cross-references among tables. Each table contains a set of fields, referred to as attributes, which provide information about 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 design is based upon normalizing data to make it easier to use. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require the modification of many sections of the databases.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple types of databases through different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level focuses on cost, scalability and other operational concerns, such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a mixture of external views based on different data models. It can include virtual tables that are computed with generic data to enhance the performance.

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