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 applications and users and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is a part of a company’s total informational infrastructure that aids in decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the 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), which allowed large amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a range of purposes. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that arrange data according to the specific scheme, for example one-to-many relationships. It uses the primary key to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes, or fields, that represent facts about data entities. The most popular type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also simpler to update data since it doesn’t require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support different types of databases by offering different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level is focused on the cost, scalability, and other operational issues like the physical layout of the database. The external level determines how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from data that is generic to enhance performance.

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