Database Management Basics

Database management is the method to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data, distributing it to users and applications making edits as needed and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is part of the overall informational infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making and corporate growth as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM among others developed the first database systems. They evolved into information management systems (IMS) which allowed huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory to aiding complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database consists of tables that organize data according to a certain schema, such as one-to many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allow cross-references among tables. Each table contains a number of fields, also known as attributes, that provide information about the data entities. The most popular type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This model is based upon normalizing the data, making it simpler to use. It is also simpler to update data because it doesn’t require the modification of several databases.

Most DBMSs can support multiple types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level deals with costs, scalability, and other operational concerns including the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It may include a mix of various external views (based on the different data models) and may also include virtual tables that are constructed from generic data to improve performance.

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