Database Management Basics

Database management is a system of managing information that a company needs to run its business operations. It involves storing data and distribution to applications and users making changes as needed, monitoring changes in the data and preventing it from being corrupted by unexpected failure. It is a component of the entire informational infrastructure of a business which supports decision-making, corporate growth, and compliance with laws such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were developed in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) that allowed for the storage and retrieve massive amounts of data for a wide range of applications, from the calculation of inventory to supporting complicated financial accounting and human resources functions.

A database consists of a set of tables that store data according to a particular arrangement, like one-to-many relationships. It makes use of primary keys to identify records, and also allows cross-references among tables. Each table is comprised of a set of attributes, or fields, that contain information about data entities. The most popular type of database today 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 easier to use. It is also easier to update data since it doesn't require changing several databases.

The majority of DBMSs support a variety of databases and offer different internal and external levels of organization. The internal level focuses on costs, scalability, and other operational concerns 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 that are based on different data models and may also include virtual tables that are computed using generic data to improve the performance.

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