Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing the information that supports a company’s business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and preventing data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is an integral part of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making, corporate growth, and 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 developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed large amounts data to be stored and retrieved for a range of reasons. From calculating inventory to supporting complex financial accounting functions as well as human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables which organize data in accordance with an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It utilizes primary keys to identify records, and allow cross-references between tables. Each table contains a number of fields, called attributes, that provide information about the entities that comprise the data. Relational models, which were developed by E. F. “TedCodd Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most well-known database type currently. This model is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It also makes it easier to update data by avoiding the necessity of changing many sections of the database.

Most DBMSs support multiple types of databases by offering different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with costs, scalability, and other operational issues like the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database in user interfaces and applications. It could comprise a mix of external views based on different data models. It can include virtual tables that are calculated with generic data to enhance the performance.