Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of coordinating the information that supports a company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications and editing it when needed as well as monitoring changes in data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s total informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth of the company as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory, to supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that arrange data in accordance with a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes or fields that contain information about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM as a database, are the most well-known database type today. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of various databases.

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

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