Database Management Basics

Database management is the system for managing information that supports the business operations of an organization. It includes data storage and distribution to application programs and users and then modifying it if necessary as well as monitoring changes to the data and preventing it from becoming damaged by unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and 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 massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory, to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables that arrange data in accordance with a certain scheme, like one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records and permit cross-references between tables. Each table has a set of fields, known as attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most widely used type of database today is a relational model, developed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it simpler to update data without the necessity of changing several databases.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases by providing different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with the cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of different external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data to improve performance.

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