Database Management Basics

Database management is the process for managing information that aids the company’s business operations. It involves storing data, distributing it to applications and users making changes as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing the data from becoming corrupted due to unexpected failures. It is one component of a company’s total informational infrastructure that supports decision-making and growth for the business as well as compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In the 1960s, Charles Bachman and IBM along with other companies 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 aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a collection of tables which organize data according to a specific pattern, such as one-to many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records and permits cross-references between tables. Each table has a variety of fields, called attributes, which provide information about the entities that comprise the data. The most well-known type of database that is currently in use is a relational model, designed by E. F. “Ted” Codd at IBM in the 1970s. The concept is based on normalizing data to make it more user-friendly. It also makes it easier to update data since it eliminates the need to modify many sections of the database.

The majority of DBMSs are able to support different types of databases by offering different levels of external and internal organization. The internal level addresses cost, scalability and other operational concerns such as the design of the database’s physical storage. The external level is how the database appears in user interfaces and other applications. It could comprise a combination of different external views (based on different data models) and may also include virtual tables which are generated from data that is generic to enhance performance.

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