Database Management Basics

Database management is a method of managing the information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing and distributing data it to applications and users and editing it as required and monitoring changes to the data and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

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

A database is a collection of tables that organizes data according to a certain scheme, like one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table is comprised of a set of fields, referred to as attributes, that contain information about data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model created by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it easier to use. It is also easier to update data because it doesn’t require changing certain sections of the database.

Most DBMSs can support different types of databases by offering different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level deals with cost, scalability and other operational concerns such as the layout of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and can also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve performance.