Database Management Basics

Database management is the process to manage information that is essential to the organization’s business processes. It involves storing data, disseminating it to applications and users, editing it as needed and monitoring changes to the data and protecting against data corruption due to unexpected failure. It is a part of the overall informational infrastructure of a company that assists in decision making as well as corporate growth and compliance with laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

The first database systems were invented in the 1960s by Charles Bachman, IBM and others. They developed into information management systems (IMS) which allowed massive amounts of data to be stored and retrieved for a variety of purposes. From calculating inventory, to aiding complicated financial accounting functions, and human resource functions.

A database is a set of tables that are organized according to a certain scheme, such as one-to-many relationships. It utilizes primary key to identify records and permits cross-references among tables. Each table has a variety of fields, known as attributes, that contain information about the entities that comprise the data. The most widely used type of database today is a relational model, designed by E. F. «Ted» Codd at IBM in the 1970s. This design is based on normalizing the data, making it more easy to use. It is also easier to update data because it does not require changing various databases.

Most DBMSs support various types of databases, by providing different levels of internal and external organization. The internal level is focused on cost, scalability, and other operational issues, including the physical layout of the database. The external level is the representation of the database on user interfaces and applications. It can include a combination of various external views (based on the various data models) and may also include virtual tables that are computed from generic data to improve performance.

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