Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing data that supports the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data and distribution to users and applications making changes as needed as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making, corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed 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 reasons. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that are organized according to a certain scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, also known as attributes, that represent facts about the entities that comprise the data. The most widely used type of database today is a relational model, designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It also makes it easier to update data, avoiding the need to update different sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, 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 external views based on different data models. It also may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data to improve the performance.

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