Database Management Basics

Database management is the method for managing data that supports an organization’s business operations. It involves storing data, disseminating it to users and applications, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to data and stopping data corruption due unexpected failure. It is one component of a company’s total informational infrastructure, which supports decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws like the GDPR and the 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 huge amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of reasons. From calculating inventory, to supporting complex financial accounting functions and human resource functions.

A database is tables that organize data according to a particular scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It uses primary key to identify records and allows cross-references among tables. Each table has a set of attributes or fields which provide information about data entities. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, developed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based upon normalizing data to make it easier to use. It also makes it easier to update data since it eliminates the need to modify various databases.

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