Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it when needed and monitoring changes to data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is an element of a company’s overall informational infrastructure which aids in decision making, corporate growth and 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 evolved into the information management systems (IMS) which allowed the storage and retrieve large amounts data for a wide range of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that store data according to some arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and permits cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of attributes, or fields, that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, invented by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most widely used type of database in the present. This design is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It is also simpler to update data because it doesn’t require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational concerns like 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 different external views (based on the different data models) and may include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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