Database Management Basics

Database management is a system for managing the data that supports a business’s operations. It includes data storage, distributing it to application programs and users and modifying it as needed and monitoring the changes in the data and preventing it from getting corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a component of the overall informational infrastructure of a business that aids in decision-making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with others created the first database systems. 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 organize data in accordance with a specific pattern, for example, one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes or fields which provide information about data entities. Relational models, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most used database type currently. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it simpler to update data since it eliminates the necessity of changing various databases.

Most DBMSs can accommodate multiple types of databases through different levels of external and internal 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 the way the database is presented in user interfaces and other applications. It could include a mix of various external views based on different data models and may also include virtual tables that are calculated using generic data in order to improve the performance.

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