Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that supports an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users and editing it when needed, monitoring data changes, and making sure that data integrity is not compromised due to unexpected failure. It is a part of an organization’s overall 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.

The first database systems were created in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They evolved into the information management systems (IMS) which enabled the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a variety of purposes, ranging from calculating inventory to supporting complex human resources and financial accounting functions.

A database is a collection of tables that arrange data according to an established pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and allows cross-references between tables. Each table contains a set of attributes or fields that represent facts about data entities. Relational models, created by E. F. “Ted” Codd in the 1970s at IBM, are the most used database type in the present. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn’t require the modification of various databases.

Most DBMSs are able to support different types of databases, offering internal and external levels of organization. The internal level is concerned with cost, scalability and other operational issues such as the layout of the physical storage. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It could include a mix of different external views (based on the various data models) and can also include virtual tables which are generated from generic data in order to improve performance.

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